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Sudell's Frog - Neobatrachus sudelli.jpg
Sudell's frog, Neobatrachus sudelli
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Limnodynastidae
Genus: Neobatrachus
Peters, 1863

See text

The range of Neobatrachus

Neobatrachus is a genus of burrowing ground frogs native to Australia. They occur in every state except Tasmania, however this genus is absent from the far north of Australia and most of Queensland. Most of the species in this genus occur in south-western Western Australia. They are often found in arid areas and burrow underground to avoid dehydration. They are typically found in temporary claypan and flooded grassland habitats.

These burrowing frogs have special genetic characteristics that help them to live in extreme environments. They stand out because some species are tetraploids instead of diploids.

All species have a similar body shape, they are rounded and squat with large eyes and the pupils constrict vertically. The limbs are short and the hands are free from webbing while the feet are partially webbed. Males lack a vocal sac. Approximately 1000 eggs are laid in a chain in still water.

The reproductive cycle is dependent on sufficient rainfall, an unpredictable event in the arid and semiarid regions of Australia. When a period of rain creates pools of water they emerge from their burrow to meet in large numbers. The breeding activity becomes frantic as the males seek out an opportunity, several individuals may sometimes be seen clambering over each other on a single female. Neobatrachus tadpoles may feed on the weaker individuals in a pool as available food is exhausted or water evaporates.

The genus was first described by Wilhelm Peters in 1863. A taxonomic revision of the genus was published in 2010, providing clarification to the names of several species and investigating the identity of the specimen examined for the author's earlier description of Neobatrachus albipes.

A genus name, Neoruinosus Wells and Wellington, 1985, erected to separate Neobatrachus sudelli as a monophyletic species or species group was placed in synonymy in the 2010 revision.


Common name Binomial name
White-footed frog Neobatrachus albipes Roberts, Mahony, Kendrick, and Majors, 1991
Northern burrowing frog Neobatrachus aquilonius Tyler, Davies, and Martin, 1981
Tawny frog Neobatrachus fulvus Mahony and Roberts, 1986
Kunapalari frog Neobatrachus kunapalari Mahony and Roberts, 1986
Humming frog Neobatrachus pelobatoides (Werner, 1914)
Painted burrowing frog Neobatrachus pictus Peters, 1863
Sudell's frog Neobatrachus sudelli (Lamb, 1911)
Shoemaker frog Neobatrachus sutor Main, 1957
Goldfield's bull frog Neobatrachus wilsmorei (Parker, 1940)
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