Elegant Frog  |  

Cophixalus concinnus

Status: Critically Endangered on the EPBC Act list

The Elegant Frog has considerable external sexual dimorphism. Males are uniformly dark dorsally (often appearing black) with red markings that are particularly bright on the vocal sac. The classic ventral patterning and colouration in males consists of an irregular, unbroken dark area extending from the chin across the central portion of the throat. The remainder of the ventral surfaces consist of small stippled areas on a white background, with orange concentrated laterally. The female is distinctive in her very pale dorsal colouration, Cophixalus concinnus (Elegant Frog) Conservation Advice Page 2 of 9 almost appearing white. Ventrally, the female is of the colouration described for the male except that the black markings and areas of orange are relatively subdued. The iris of both sexes is dark, often heavily speckled with grey in the upper half. The Elegant Frog and the Cape Melville Nursery Frog are the only Australian Cophixalus in which the distance between the eye and naris is greater than that between the nares. The Elegant Frog can be separated from its Australian congeners by a combination of the following characters: large size (snout-to-vent length length 17.9–26.5 mm), short hind legs, large finger discs, third finger disc slightly larger to twice the size of the fourth toe disc, and call a rapidly pulsed short trill. The call is similar to that of C. monticola but differs in being of lower dominant frequency and longer duration. The eggs of microhylids are relatively large and are laid in very moist soil. The tadpole develops inside the egg and when it has completed metamorphosis it hatches from the egg as a fully formed froglet. The eggs of this species are joined in a string by a strong mucilaginous cord. The eggs are large relative to other frog species and clutch sizes small, with a clutch of 17 eggs being collected and preserved in 1983.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Cophixalus concinnus

    Threats Threats to the Elegant Frog include climate change; habitat degradation and introduced species.
    Climate change distribution modelling carried out by Williams and Hilbert (2006) suggests that five Cophixalus species (including C. concinnus) would lose more than 50 percent of their core habitat with a 1 oC increase in temperature.
    Therefore the impacts of climate change are thought to be the greatest threat to the survival of these microhylid frogs (Williams 2007).
    Bioclimatic modelling predicts this species to be the first vertebrate of the Wet Tropics likely to go extinct due to climate change (Hoskin 2004).
    Changes in hydrology and associated effects of climate change (e.g. reduction in food supply) may also alter the susceptibility of frogs to disease; but these impacts are likely to be variable among species and sites (DoEE 2016). 2.0 Habitat loss and degradation 2.1 Clearing; Known potential Feral pigs are responsible for habitat trampling; damage and potentially cause adult frog fragmentation; mortality (Richards et al. 1993). altered hydrology 3.0 Invasive species 3.1 Yellow Crazy Known potential Yellow crazy ants spray formic acid to Ants subdue prey; which causes burns and (Anoplolepis irritates the skin and eyes of animals. gracilipes) They can have severe impacts on a range of ecological processes and lead to significant loss of biodiversity.
    Significant threats such as climate change would likely impact the entire area virtually at once.
    A continuing decline in area of occupancy and area; extent and or quality of habitat ; and therefore number of mature individuals; may be inferred based on climate change (Shoo 2005 Williams et al. 2003 Williams and Hilbert 2006).
    The extreme weather species is expected to lose all of its core events e.g. environment with a 1oC rise in cyclones; temperature (Williams Hilbert 2006). droughts However; the effects of temperature extremes could be buffered by the frog s use of boulder field habitat (Shoo et al. 2010).