As one of the most widely distributed of the Australian burrowing frogs, the Trilling Frog is found inhabiting grasslands in arid and semi-arid regions. Also locally known as the Desert Trilling Frog (Neobatrachus sudellae formerly Neobatrachus centralis), the following images are those of frogs found in the Ilparpa Claypans in Alice Springs, Central Australia, when water is pooled in the claypans.

Desert Trilling Frog spawn at Alice Springs Ilparpa Claypans
Desert Trilling Frog spawn at Alice Springs Ilparpa Claypans

Following image is part of the metamorphosis cycle of the Desert Trilling Frog, changing from a tadpole (still with the tail) and through the process of apoptosis, into a frog.

A stage of the Desert Trilling Frog as a tadpole
Part of the metamorphosis cycle of the Desert Trilling Frog

Also locally known as the Desert Trilling Frog, they have vertical pupils and are a fawn, pale yellow or grey on their upper side, with small irregular darker patches. The toes are fully webbed with deep indentations between the toes.

Like most desert frogs, they develop quickly from eggs, to tadpole and to frogs.

The following images are of the Desert Trilling Frog having just emerged from aestivation.

The frog eventually loses it dark appearance taking on the fawn, pale yellow or grey on their upper side, with small irregular darker patches. They have vertical pupils, toes fully webbed with deep indentations between the toes. Like most desert frogs, they develop quickly from eggs, to tadpole and to frogs.

Desert Trilling Frog (Neobatrachus centralis)
Desert Trilling Frog (Neobatrachus sudellae) emerging from aestivation

  • Scientific classification
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Amphibia
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Limnodynastidae
  • Genus: Neobatrachus
  • Species: Neobatrachus sudellae
    • formerly Neobatrachus centralis

Our thanks to Alice Springs Desert Park – ASDP / NRETA for assistance with identifying this fauna.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

The Sudell’s frog, also known as the painted burrowing frog (Neobatrachus sudellae), trilling frog or desert trilling frog (was formerly classified as the Neobatrachus centralis). It is a species of burrowing frog that is common to a large part of south-eastern Australia.

The frogs commonly called Sudell’s frog have a more easterly distribution, compared to the trilling frog that are found throughout the Central Australian arid desert region that includes South Australia and Western Australia.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Amphibia
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Limnodynastidae
  • Genus: Neobatrachus
  • Species: N. sudellae
  • Binomial name: Neobatrachus sudellae

Glossary

aestivation
describes the period of dormancy that occur during hot, dry periods of the year. Analogous to that of hibernation in winter.