SPECIES: Litoria piperata — Peppered Tree Frog
This one is literally missing-in-action. Although the Peppered Tree Frog is classified on the EPBC as a Vulnerable species, it hasn’t actually been sighted since 1973. Some records even put this frog as Critically Endangered and, on the IUCN, – Possibly Extinct.
The Peppered Tree Frog is a tiny, wee little frog, only growing 25-30mm. Its colouring is dull olive or grey-green, with brown marbling and flecking, ‘peppered’ with white or cream on its limbs and flanks. It prefers rocky streams in open forest, thought to dwell in and around the vegetation alongside the water.
There are so many unknowns with this species, including why it has gone into apparent decline. Loss/degradation to habitat of the Peppered Tree Frog have almost certainly played a part, by land clearing, grazing and timber harvesting. Predation on larvae by introduced predatory fish species is likely to also have had a significant impact. Chytridiomycosis, an infectious disease affecting amphibians worldwide has also been detected in regions where the frog is likely to be, if indeed it is still surviving.
Photo: Marion Anstis