Crinia flindersensis
Northern Flinders Ranges froglet
family: Myobatrachidae
subfamily: Myobatrachinae
Species Description: Donnellan S, Anstis M, Price L, Wheaton L 2012 A new species of Crinia (Anura: Myobatrachidae) from the Flinders Ranges, South Australia. Zootaxa 3499: 1-26.

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Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None


Crinia flindersensis is a small frog species from southern Australia. Snout-vent length is 16.0-25.9 mm in females, 14.6-21.3 mm in males. The dorsum is mildly tubercular, while the abdomen, throat, and forearms are strongly tubercular. The limbs are smooth. The snout is short and somewhat pointed, and the tympanum is not distinct. The digits of C. flindersensis are long and unwebbed. Relative finger length (descending) is 3 > 4 > 2 = 1; relative toe length (descending) is 5 > 3 > 4 > 2 > 1. Tubercles on the digits, hands and feet are small or reduced. C. flindersensis tadpoles have small oval bodies, which are wider than tall. They can reach a total length of up to 35mm (seen in a tadpole at stage 42), with the tail about twice the length of the body. The nares open dorsally and have a small flap. The eyes are dorsolaterally located with golden irises. The tadpoles metamorphose in spring, with a snout-vent length of 8-9mm. Their morphology and coloration is that of a miniature adult, with a translucent grey venter (Donnellan et al. 2012).

Diagnosis: C. flindersensis is distinguished from other Crinia species mainly by coloration or larval morphology. Adult C. flindersensis are morphologically indistinguishable from adult C. riparia, its sister species, but are distinguished morphologically by their tadpoles. C. flindersensis tadpoles are more rounded in shape, have a more arched tail fin, a shorter tail, and a narrower oral disc less adapted to fast flowing water (Donnellan et al. 2012).

Coloration in preservative: The dorsum and flanks are an unpatterned dark gray. The snout is black with brown lips. The abdomen is cream colored with dark grey patterning. The dorsal surfaces of the limbs are a lighter grey with dark grey banding while the ventral surfaces are brownish. Dorsal and ventral patterns can vary, even within populations (Donnellan et al. 2012).

Tadpole Coloration: The colors seen in C. flindersensis tadpoles vary both within populations and between localities. The dorsum may be bright gold, dark golden brown, reddish brown, black, dark brown, or rusty brown. The venter is translucent, and over time accumulates bright copper-gold clusters that eventually create a nearly opaque layer by stage 34 (Donnellan et al. 2012).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Australia

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C. flindersensis inhabits the northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia, Australia, reaching from Black Springs, Wilkatana Station in the south to Billy Springs in the north where the species lives in shallow, rocky creeks with wide beds, which typically lack vegetation (both in the creek and on the banks) and have steep sides. These creeks are often seasonally variable in flow and subject to flooding (Donnellan et al. 2012).

C. flindersensis tadpoles are bottom dwellers and are found in slow moving or still portions of the creeks (Donnellan et al. 2012).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
C. flindersensis eggs are deposited under submerged rocks in creeks. The tadpoles graze algae and sediments along the creek bed, hiding among rocks and leaf litter. They metamorphose in the spring, from early spring to early summer (Donnellan et al. 2012).

Trends and Threats
Due to habitat loss this species is recommended for conservation assessment (Donnellan et al. 2012).

The species authorities for C. flindersensis are S. Donnellan, M. Anstis, L. Price, and L. Wheaton.

C. flindersensis is named for the Flinders Ranges, the South Australian mountain ranges where the species is found (Donnellan et al. 2012).

C. flindersensis is mostly closely related to the Southern Flinders Ranges froglet, C. riparia, and is also closely related to C. signifera (Donnellan et al. 2012).

Littlejohn and Martin (1965), in their paper describing C. riparia, included specimens from within the range of C. flindersensis in their analysis. They acknowledged, however, that these may have been biologically distinct and did not use them for their C. riparia description (Donnellan et al. 2012).

Due to taxonomic confusion, specimens of C. riparia from within the Flinders Range are likely C. flindersensis.


Donnellan, S., Anstis, M., Price, L., and Wheaton, L. (2012). ''A new species of Crinia (Anura: Myobatrachidae) from the Flinders Ranges, South Australia.'' Zootaxa, 3499, 1-26.

Written by John Cavagnaro (john.cavagnaro AT, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley
First submitted 2012-11-19
Edited by Ann T. Chang (2013-02-02)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2013 Crinia flindersensis: Northern Flinders Ranges froglet <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 25, 2017.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 25 Mar 2017.

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