Among the number of frogs species found at Simpsons Gap is the Main’s Frog (Cyclorana maini). This stout small water-holding frog has adapted to desert conditions. It is usually found in temporary pools in watercourses, claypans and other short-lived bodies of water in the arid region of Western and Central Australia.

One of the burrowing frogs, it survives the dry periods by absorbing water into its body, burrowing deep underground, and encasing itself in a watertight bag (cocoon), awaiting the next major rain fall.

Its skin may vary from pale grey-brown, olive-brown, dull green on its back, with darker patches. The back is smooth or slightly rough or warty in appearance. Look for the distinct pale stripe that runs along the spine. There is often a dark lateral head stripe.

The male frogs breeding call sounds like the bleating of sheep, hence its other more common name of ‘Sheep Frog’.

Following images are from Palm Valley, where there was still water after recent rains.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Amphibia
  • Subclass: Lissamphibia
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Species: C. maini
  • Binomial name: Cyclorana maini