The Mountain Top Nursery Frog is a member of the family Microhylidae. It is similar in appearance to Cophixalus aenigma and C. concinnus but can be distinguished by larger toe discs and body width. It is moderately sized (snout-to-vent length 17.5 mm), has an indistinct tympanum and short hind legs. The snout is bluntly rounded and finger lengths are 3>4>2>1 in decreasing order. The toes are unwebbed and are 4>3>5>2>1 in decreasing length. Subarticular tubules are indistinct. The skin is smooth dorsallly and ventrally and the color is variable and ranges from red-brown to yellow-brown, with dark spots on the legs and dorsal Cophixalus monticola (Mountain Top Nursery Frog) Conservation Advice Page 2 of 9 side. The belly is whitish, yellow or reddish-brown with areas of darker pigment laterally and on the throat. It is morphologically similar to the Elegant Nursery Frog (C. concinnus) but they do not co-occur. The male call is a short trill, similar to, but distinguishable from that of C. concinnus. The eggs of microhylids are relatively large and are laid in very moist soil or vegation. The tadpole develops inside the egg and when it has completed metamorphosis it hatches from the egg as a fully formed froglet. Two clutches have been found, containing a small number of eggs (8 and 13) laid in a clump linked in a ”rosary chain” by a thin, gelatinous cord.
Mountain-top Nursery-frog |
Status: Critically Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Cophixalus monticola
Climatic variables explain the majority of the variation in abundance of the Mountain Top Nursery Frog; suggesting that it is particularly susceptible to climate change (Williams 2007).
Threats Threats to the Mountain Top Nursery Frog include climate change; habitat degradation and introduced species.
Changes in hydrology and other 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). 3.0 Invasive species 3.1 Yellow Crazy Ants Known potential Yellow crazy ants spray formic acid to (Anoplolepis subdue prey; which causes burns and gracilipes) irritates the skin and eyes of animals.
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).