Species Description: Donnellan, S.C. and M.J. Mahoney. 2004. Allozyme, chromosomal and morphological variability in the Litoria lesueuri species group (Anura: Hylidae), including a description of a new species. Australian Journal of Zoology, 2004, 52, p 1-28.
© 2012 Eric Vanderduys (1 of 3)
Adult L. jungguy range from 31-48mm among males and 44-71mm among females, both with a pale unmarked dorsum of fawn or light brown with occasional scattered dark flecks, dots or irregular dark brown patches. Some individuals may also have prominent raised tubercles on the dorsum. In males, nuptial pads are black or dark brown and are confined to the dorsal and posterior surface of the penultimate phalange of the first finger. In breeding season males fequently show lemon-yellow coloring on the flanks, upper forelimb, and the side of the face. In both males and females, groin patterning may vary from an absence of black blotching, a single black blotch,or heavy blotching which may extend uppwards along the flank. The ventral surface is pale except in the submandibular and anterior abdomenal areas, which vary from immaculate to covered in a fine dark mottling. A black streak is infrequently present below the canthus, but may be found above the tympanum extending posteriorly along the body at the level of the forelimb. A bordering thin pale-yellow, gold, or cream line contrasts the upper edge of the black streak. The hind limbs are short to moderate in length with fully webbed toes. Fingers, in contrast, are long, slender and unwebbed with mildly expanded terminal disks(Donnellan and Mahony 2004).
Coloring may change slightly in preservative, notably the uniform light brown dorsum is overlain with irregularly shaped brown mottling and/or a fine cover of black speckling. The posterior surface of the thigh may appear black, broken by irregularly shaped spots and reticulations of cream or light brown color. The venter retains cream coloration except where the throat may be colored with a light brown wash, and on the undersurfaces of the hands and feet, which are dark brown (Donnellan and Mahony 2004).
Distribution and Habitat
Litoria jungguy is found in Australia, primarily in the rainforests of the Barron River drainage. A terrestrial frog, L. jungguy is also found in river drainages flowing east of Atherton Tablelands south along the coast to Murray River approximately 20km South of Tully in northern Queensland. In addition, a seemingly isolated population was identified in the Broken River catchment in mid-east Queensland (Donnellan and Mahony 2004).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Long considered part of the L. lesueuri species group, the larvae of L. jungguy are as of yet indistinguishable form those of L. lesueuri, though their ranges do not overlap(Donnellan and Mahony 2004). However, Richards and Alfrod (1993) describe an interesting and unusual reproductive behavior (for Australian anurans) in L. jungguy (Donnellan and Mahony 2004) . At three sites within the southern portion of its range, L. jungguy has been found to construct water-filled basins for oviposition where larvae are reared through metamorphosis. The nests are almost perfectly circular and of remarkably uniform size, constructed on exposed sandy banks clumped in areas where sunlight penetrates the canopy, and either built continuous with the stream channel, or directly adjacent to it. In both cases, water level within the nest is maintened by seepage from the adjacent stream. Egg masses consist of a single, firm gelatinous mass several layers thick and composed of approximately 1200 eggs, with a pigmented animal hemisphere and unpigmented vegetal hemisphere. Larvae escape from the nests to the adjacent stream via flooding or wall erosion due to rain or stream current. Richards and Alford also propose that unlike the nest building Hyla boans group, nests of L. jungguy are not constructed by males before calling for females, but rather are constructed once amplexus is initiated and the male and attracted female have moved to the water edge. (Richards and Alford 1992)
Trends and Threats
In a study by Retallick, McCallum, and Speare (2004), frogs considered to be L. wilcoxii or L. jungguy (ambiguity due to recent designation by Donnellan and Mahony, 2004)were found to have a 28% prevelence of chytrid infection, without any signs of population declines or significant effect to the affected individuals. Although distinction between L. wilcoxii and L. jungguy was not made, Retallick et. al. suggest the possibility of the species as resevoir hosts which may play a substantial role in the maintenace and spread of the chytrid infection. (Retallick McCallum and Hamish 2004)
Litoria jungguy, a newly described species by Donnellan and Mahony in 2004, was previous conisdered part of the L. lesueuri species group, and may be distinguished by the posterior coloring of the thigh. L. jungguy has white or cream spots on an otherwise black surface, while L. lesueruri has blue spots on a black backing. Spots may range from small and round to irregularly-shaped and -sized. In additon, the distributions of the two species are separated by at least 1650km. L. jungguy also resembles the newyly redesignated species Litoria wilcoxii,a former memeber of the L. lesueuri complex, but distinction between the two species may only be made with certainty by chromosome and allozyme profiles(Donnellan and Mahony 2004).
Donnellan, S. C., and Mahony, M. J. (2004). ''Allozyme, chromosomal and morphological variability in the Litoria lesueuri species group (Anura:Hylidae), including a description of a new species.'' Australian Journal of Zoology, 52, 1-28.
Retallick, R.W., McCallum, H., and Speare, R. (2004). ''Endemic infection of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a frog community post-decline.'' PLoS Biology, 2(11), e351.
Richards, S.J., and Alford, R.A. (1992). ''Nest construction by an Australian rainforest frog of the Litoria lesueuri complex (Anura:Hylidae).'' Copeia, (4), 1120-1123.
Written by Ketti Augusztiny (ketti AT berkeley.edu), URAP
First submitted 2004-10-05
Edited by Tate Tunstall (2005-03-31)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2005 Litoria jungguy <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/6252> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 13, 2018.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2018. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Dec 2018.
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