Peppered Tree Frog
Distribution and Habitat
Litoria piperata was formerly known from five streams draining the east of the Northern Tablelands, from 800-1120 m, from Gibraltar Range to Armidale, n. NSW (Tyler & Davies 1985). The area of occurrence of the species is approximately 5000 km2 (map in Gillespie & Hines 1999). Despite searches of the historic localities and other streams with similar habitat within the region (Mahony 1997), the species has not been seen since 1973. However, in 1992, surveys outside the known range of L. piperata on the Northern Tablelands located populations of frogs which closely resemble this species (NSW NPWS 1994). While the external morphology of the population closely resembles L. piperata, the mating call is very similar to L. pearsoniana (M. Mahony pers. comm. in Tyler 1997). It is possible that this species represents morphologically distinct outlying populations of L. pearsoniana. Considerable confusion exists over the systematics of the Litoria barringtonensis, L. pearsoniana, L. phyllochroa, and L. piperata complex. Studies of the genetic variation in populations of this complex revealed that the currently recognised species boundaries are in need of major review (Donellan et al. 1999). Further genetic and morphometric studies are required to resolve the systematics of these n. populations. (Gillespie & Hines 1999)
Formerly known from the Oxley Wild Rivers NP (Gara River Nature Reserve) and Mitchell SF (H. Hines pers. comm.). Several of the type specimens were taken on freehold and leasehold land in the vicinity of Glen Innes (Tyler 1997).
Litoria piperata occupied open forest and wet sclerophyll forest (Heatwole et al. 1995) at altitudes of 800 to 1120 m (Gillespie & Hines 1999).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
Donnellan, S.C., McGuigan, K., Knowles, R., Mahony, M. and Moritz, C. (1999). ''Genetic evidence for species boundaries in frogs of the Litoria citropa species-group (Anura: Hylidae) .'' Australian Journal of Zoology, 47, 275-293.
Gillespie, G.R. and Hines, H.B. (1999). ''Status of temperate riverine frogs in south-eastern Australia.'' Declines and Disappearances of Australian Frogs. A. Campbell, eds., Environment Australia, Canberra, 109-130.
Heatwole, H., de Bavay, J., Webber, P. and Webb, G. (1995). ''Faunal survey of New England. IV. The frogs.'' Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 38, 229-249.
Mahony, M., Knowles, R., and Patterson, L. (1997). Peppered Tree Frog Litoria piperata. in: Threatened Frogs of New South Wales: Habitats, Status and Conservation. H. Ehmann (ed.) pp 182-187. Frog and Tadpole Study Group of N.S.W. Inc., Sydney South, Australia.
Tyler, M.J. (1997). The Action Plan for Australian Frogs. Wildlife Australia, Canberra, ACT.
Tyler, M.J. and Davies, M. (1985). ''A new species of Litoria (Anura: Hylidae) from New South Wales, Australia.'' Copeia, 1985(1), 145-149.
Written by J.-M. Hero; H. Hines; L. Shoo; M. Stoneham (m.hero AT mailbox.gu.edu.au), Griffith University
First submitted 2002-03-15
Edited by Ambika Sopory, Jean-Marc Hero (2008-09-18)
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