Ecology of desert frogs: a study from southwestern Queensland
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Martin Predavec, Chris R. Dickman, 1993. "Ecology of desert frogs: a study from southwestern Queensland", Herpetology in Australia: A Diverse Discipline, Daniel Lunney, Danielle Ayers
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An assemblage of frogs was monitored for 23 months in an arid sand dune habitat in southwestern Queensland. Three species were present, Notaden nichollsi, Neobatrachus centralis and Cyclorana australis. N. nichollsi was the most abundant species making up 77.0 per cent of all captures, followed by N. centralis (18.2%) and C. australis (4.8%). All three species were active on the surface only after rain and while water was present in the claypans. During periods of activity, frogs were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates in the area both in terms of numbers and biomass. Large frogs captured during rain were found near the crests of the dunes, while juveniles were captured two to three weeks after rain in the swales. The numbers of N. nichollsi captured were positively correlated with the ranked distance to the nearest claypan. All three species had markedly different diets, and the dietary composition differed from that of available invertebrates. Termites were a major component of the diet of both N. nichollsi and N. centralis, although no termites were present on the surface during the study. We suggest that frogs are an important, but largely over looked, element of the Australian desert fauna.