Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Extinct as Taudactylus diurnus
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Recovery plan for Stream Frogs of South-east Queensland 2001–2005 (Hines, H.B. & South-east Queensland Threatened Frogs Recovery Team (SEQTFRT), 2002) [Recovery Plan] as Taudactylus diurnus.
 
Threat Abatement Plan for infection of amphibians with chytrid fungus resulting in chytridiomycosis (Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006o) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument] as Taudactylus diurnus.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
QLD:Southern dayfrog (Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP), 2013az) [Database].
State Listing Status
QLD: Listed as Endangered (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list) as Taudactylus diurnus
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Extinct (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
Scientific name Taudactylus diurnus [1886]
Family Myobatrachidae:Anura:Amphibia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author Straughan and Lee, 1966
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Other names Taudactylus diurnis [59140]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map not available for this taxon.
Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name:Taudactylus diurnus

Common name: Southern Day Frog

Other names: Mount Glorious Day Frog, Southern DayFrog, Mount Glorious Torrent Frog

The Southern Day Frog was a small diurnal frog, with males growing to 22.0–27.2 mm, females to 23.3–30.6 mm snout-vent length (Liem & Hosmer 1973). The dorsal surface was grey or brown with darker mottling. A pale bar ran between the eyes, bordered behind by a dark brown patch. A short dark stripe ran from the eye to the base of the forearm, sometimes with a pale band bordering the lower edge. A dark, irregular, slightly raised H-shaped mark was present over the shoulders, and there was sometimes an irregular pale patch over the pelvic region. The limbs had irregular dark crossbands. The ventral surface was cream, yellowish-white or blue-grey, with or without grey spots. The throat was more heavily spotted or mottled with grey, sometimes appearing grey with yellow spots. The skin was smooth, finely granular, or with a few low warts above, and smooth below. The digits had wedge-shaped discs and were unwebbed, though the toes had broad fringes (Cogger 2000; Liem & Hosmer 1973; QLD DERM 2005a; Straughan & Lee 1966).

The Southern Day Frog was the southern-most representative of the genus Taudactylus, occurring in three sub-coastal ranges (Blackall, Conondale and D'Aguilar Ranges) near Brisbane, south-eastern Queensland (Hines et al 1999). The species has not been seen sighted in the wild since 1979. Continued efforts to relocate the species have failed. The extent of occurrence of the species was about 1000 km² (Hines et al. 1999). The Southern Day Frog occurred over a relatively narrow altitudinal range of 350–800 m with most records falling between 500 and 800 m. The disappearance of the Southern Day Frog occurred over a period of three to four years: disappearing from the D'Aguilar Range in late 1975, from the Blackall Range in late 1978 and finally from the Conondale Range in early 1979 (Czechura & Ingram 1990).

The Southern Day Frog was formerly known from Kondalilla, Conondale, Mapleton Falls, Obi Obi Gorge, Maiala, and Manorina National Parks (Tyler 1997), State Forest 311 and private land (H. Hines 2001, pers. comm.).

Since Ingram and McDonald's (1993) review, the following surveys and monitoring for the species have been undertaken (Hines & SEQTFRT 2002) without finding the Southern Day Frog:

1. Regular (near fortnightly) diurnal monitoring at the type locality (Greene's Falls) and nearby streams at Mt Glorious by Brisbane Frog Society for a year (1995–1996).

2. A study of Litoria pearsoniana at nearby Love Creek since September 1995 failed to detect the Southern Day Frog despite some diurnal censuses and regular tadpole surveys.

3. Surveys and monitoring for the Southern Gastric Brooding Frog, Rheobatrachus silus that were undertaken in 1986, 1993, 1996 and 1997 failed to detect the Southern Day Frog. It was expected that because of their shared habitat preferences, surveys for the Southern Gastric Brooding Frog would have also located the Southern Day Frog.

The Southern Day Frog was one of five species of upland rainforest stream-dwelling frog which declined in south-east Queensland in the 1970s (Ingram & McDonald 1993). It was considered to be relatively common in the early 1970s, however it underwent a sudden and unanticipated decline during the late 1970s (Czechura & Ingram 1990).

The Southern Day Frog's habitat is protected within National Parks (D'Aguilar, Conondale Range, and Kondalilla Falls) (Queensland EPA 2007).

The Southern Day Frog inhabited montane rainforest, tall open forest and other riparian vegetation with a closed understorey along permanent and temporary streams at elevations between 350 m and 800 m. The species preferred permanent streams with a rocky substrate, but would use streams with a wide variety of substrates provided the water was not very muddy. Active frogs were found among low vegetation, rocks, leaf litter and other debris, generally within 10 m of water, although they were recorded about 22 m from water in wet weather. Individuals frequently entered the water, swimming from point to point or sitting half-submerged. At night they sheltered under rocks & debris or within crevices (Czechura & Ingram 1990).

The Southern Day Frog was a diurnal species, activity beginning at sunrise and ceasing soon after sunset (Ingram 1980). This species was generally very active, but would also sit motionless for periods while basking in sunlit patches or on warm rocks. Individuals escaped danger by leaping into the water and swimming away, or hiding on the bottom among rocks or loose mud (Czechura & Ingram 1990). Southern Day Frog activity appeared to be restricted by temperature, and this species was intolerant of desiccation (Johnson 1971).

Active Southern Day Frogs were observed year round, although less frequently during cooler winter months (Czechura & Ingram 1990). Breeding occurred in warm weather after or during heavy rain between October and May, peaking in the January to March period (Czechura & Ingram 1990; Straughan & Lee 1966). Amplexus is inguinal (amplexus is the process when the male frog grasps the female while she lays her eggs; inguinal refers to the male holding the female around the waist), and the fertilised eggs are deposited in gelatinous clumps under rocks in the water (Czechura & Ingram 1990). The tadpoles were found year-round and were bottom-dwellers, feeding by scraping food from the substrate (Liem & Hosmer 1973).

Although lacking vocal sacs, a call was emitted and resembled a soft chuckling, repeated 1–2 or 4–5 times in quick succession every 4–5 minutes (Ingram 1980; Liem & Hosmer 1973).

The tadpoles were moderately sized, with an umbrella-shaped lip (Liem & Hosmer 1973).

Straughan and Lee (1966) analysed gut contents and showed Southern Day Frogs to be opportunistic feeders of invertebrates from the forest floor. Amphipods, hymenopterans and lepidopteran larvae were the most commonly recorded prey in their sample. Frogs have been observed in the wild taking small insects along or near streams. There were no observations suggesting that prey was taken from the water (Czechura & Ingram 1990).

The species was usually found in low vegetation and leaf-litter or basking on rocks within 10 m of a water source. The greatest distance that any individual was recorded away from a watercourse was about 22 m and this occurred in wet weather. The species remained close to the water because it was fairly intolerant of dry conditions and it had to frequently enter the water (swimming or sitting half-submerged) to rehydrate. At night individuals were located in rock crevices, under stones at the water's edge, under debris, in fallen palm fronds, in old burrows or clinging to broad leafed riparian vegetation (Czechura & Ingram 1990).

The reasons for the disappearance of the Southern Day Frog remain unknown (Hines et al. 1999) but the pattern of its decline remains consistent with epidemic infection of chytridiomycosis (AGDEH 2006r; Berger 2001). Studies of amphibian mortality have identified a chytrid fungus as a significant cause of frog mortality both in Australia and overseas (AGDEH 2006r; Berger et al.1999; Ragan et al. 1998).

Tyler and Davies (1985) found no obvious evidence that over-collecting, pollution from logging or gold panning, or drought was responsible for the population decline of the closely associated Southern Gastric- brooding Frog (Rheobatrachus silus). Like the Southern Gastric-brooding Frog, logging has occurred in catchments occupied by Southern Day Frogs, however the effect of timber harvesting on the species has not been investigated. Ingram (1990) argued that the disappearances might be due to late rains falling in the cooler months (climate change). According to Hines and colleagues (1999) the species habitat is threatened by altered stream flow and water quality due to upstream disturbances.

Southern Day Frogs were absent from streams with very muddy water associated with the activities of Feral Pigs (Sus scrofa) (Czechura & Ingram 1990). Damage from Feral Pigs has increased greatly in the Conondale Ranges. Although there may have been direct predation by Pigs, the greatest effect was likely to have been the impact of increased silt on embryos and tadpoles. Streams in the area carry heavy silt loads. Silt reduces the availability of food for tadpoles and reduces their fitness at metamorphosis. Soil disturbance by Pigs is also likely to greatly increase the spread of riparian weeds (Hines & SEQTFRT 2002).

The Southern Day Frog's habitat is also threatened by weed invasion (Hines et al. 1999). The species was not found in areas along watercourses that were heavily infested with Lantana camara or where the weeds Baccharis halimifolia (Groundsel bush), Ageratina riparia (Mist flower), or Ageratina adenophora (Crofton Weed) occurred (Czechura & Ingram 1990).

"Infection of amphibians with chytrid fungus resulting in chytridiomycosis" was listed in July 2002 as a key threatening process under the EPBC Act and a threat abatement plan (TAP) was produced in 2006 (AGDEH 2006o). This TAP aims to prevent amphibian populations or regions that are currently chytridiomycosis-free from becoming infected by preventing further spread of the amphibian chytrid within Australia and to decrease the impact of infection with the amphibian chytrid fungus on populations that are currently infected.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Taudactylus diurnus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006yr) [Internet].

Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH) (2006r). Background Document for the Threat Abatement Plan for infection of amphibians with the chytrid fungus resulting in chytridiomycosis. [Online]. Canberra ACT:. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/pubs/chytrid-background.pdf.

Berger L. (2001). Diseases in Australian Frogs. Ph.D. Thesis. Townsville Queensland: James Cook University.

Berger, L., R. Speare & A. Hyatt (1999). Chytrid fungi and amphibian declines: overview, implications and future directions. In: Campbell, A., ed. Declines and Disappearances of Australian Frogs. Page(s) 23-33. [Online]. Canberra: Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/frogs.html.

Cogger, H.G. (2000). Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia - 6th edition. Sydney, NSW: Reed New Holland.

Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) (2006o). Threat Abatement Plan for infection of amphibians with chytrid fungus resulting in chytridiomycosis. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/chytrid.html.

Czechura, G.V. & G. Ingram (1990). Taudactylus diurnus and the case of the disappearing frogs. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 29:361-365.

Hines, H., M. Mahony & K. McDonald (1999). An assessment of frog declines in wet subtropical Australia. In: Campbell, A., ed. Declines and Disappearances of Australian Frogs. Page(s) 44-63. [Online]. Canberra: Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/frogs.html.

Hines, H.B. & South-east Queensland Threatened Frogs Recovery Team (SEQTFRT) (2002). Recovery plan for Stream Frogs of South-east Queensland 2001–2005. [Online]. Report to Environment Australia, Canberra. Brisbane, Queensland: Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/stream-frogs/index.html.

Ingram, G. (1980). A new frog of the genus Taudactylus (Myobatrachidae) from mid-eastern Queenlsand with notes on the other species of the genus. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 20:111-119.

Ingram, G.J. & K.R. McDonald (1993). An update on the decline of Queenslands frogs. In: Lunney, D. & D. Ayers, eds. Herpetology in Australia: a diverse discipline. Page(s) 297-303. Sydney, NSW: Royal Zoological Society of NSW.

Johnson, C.R. (1971). Thermal relations and water balance in the Day Frog, Taudactylus diurnus, from an Australian Rain Forest. Australian Journal of Zoology. 19:35-39.

Liem, D.S. & W. Hosmer (1973). Frogs of the genus Taudactylus with description of two new species (Anura: Leptodactylidae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 16:435-457.

Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (Qld DERM) (2005a). Endangered plants and animals-Southern DayFrog. [Online]. Available from: http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/wildlife-ecosystems/wildlife/threatened_plants_and_animals/endangered/southern_dayfrog.html.

Ragan, A.D.Hyatt., K.R. McDonald, H.B. Hines, K.R. Lips, G. Marrantelli & H. Parkes (1998). Chytridiomycosis causes amphibian mortality associated with population declines in the rainforest of Australia and Central America. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA. 95:9031-9036.

Straughan, I.R. & A.K. Lee (1966). A new genus and species of leptodactylid frog from Queensland. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland. 77:63-66.

Tyler, M.J. (1997). The Action Plan for Australian Frogs. [Online]. Wildlife Australia. Canberra, ACT: Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/action/frogs/index.html.

Tyler, M.J. & M. Davies (1985). The gastric brooding frog. In: Grigg, G., R. Shine & H. Ehmann, eds. Biology of Australasian Frogs and Reptiles. Page(s) 469-470. Sydney: Royal Zoological Society of NSW.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Taudactylus diurnus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 19 Sep 2014 19:53:25 +1000.