AmphibiaWeb - Litoria olongburensis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Litoria olongburensis Liem & Ingram, 1977
Olongburra Frog, Wallum Sedgefrog
family: Hylidae
subfamily: Pelodryadinae
genus: Litoria
Taxonomic Notes: Following the Australian Society of Herpetology, AmphibiaWeb uses Litoria instead of Ranoidea or Dryopsophus (contrary to Dubois and Fretey 2016 and Duellman et al 2016).
Litoria olongburensis
© 2020 Eric Vanderduys (1 of 9)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Vulnerable (VU)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Australia

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Population and Distribution
Litoria olongburensis is distributed from L. Woongeel, Fraser Is., s. to near Woolgoolga including Bribie, Moreton and Stradbroke Is., s.e. Qld (Hines et al. 1999). The area of occupancy of the species is approximately 9000 km2 (map in Hines et al. 1999). There is no information on population size, structure or dynamics (Hines et al. 1999). Litoria olongburensis exhibits genetic structuring on a north-south gradient (James 1996). Northern NSW, North Stradbroke Is., Moreton Is. and Cooloola-Fraser populations are each genetically differentiated and significantly divergent from each other (James 1996). Populations occurring on these islands should be considered separate management units or demographically independent sets of populations due to their insular nature (James 1996).
Litoria olongburensis is known from a number of mainland and island conservation reserves and public lands in Qld and NSW. In Qld, L. olongburensis has been recorded from Great Sandy, Cooloola, Noosa, Bribie Is., Moreton Is. and Blue L. NP, Beerwah, Tuan and Toolara SF, crown lands north of Coolum and West of Marcoola (Sunshine Coast) and North Stradbroke Is. (Tyler 1997). In NSW L. olongburensis has been recorded from Broadwater, Bundjalung, and Yuraygir NP, Tyagarah and Broken Head Nature Reserves, crown lands south of Yamba and west of Brunswick Heads, Cape Byron Headland Reserve. Also recorded outside of these areas in NSW: west of Tyagarah Nature Reserve, Round Mountain near L. Cudgen, Jali Council land at Newrybar, Cobaki L., Hastings Point (Tyler 1997) and in the Gold Coast Airport land on the NSW � Qld border (Hero pers. comm.).

Litoria olongburensis is restricted to coastal lowlands and sand islands where there are low nutrient soils or deep sands (Hines et al. 1999). Vegetation types typical of these environments include heathland, Melaleuca swamp, sedgeland and Banksia woodland (Hines et al. 1999). It occurs in low pH waters characteristic of wallum environments, along flowing creeks, in marshy or swampy habitats (usually temporary or semi-permanent) and their connecting channels, and coastal freshwater lakes, including perched lakes with deep water (often permanent) (Liem & Ingram 1977; James 1996; Ehmann 1997). During wet periods these swamps are heavily inundated and L. olongburensis are found clinging to emergent vegetation (grasses, reeds and Bungwall Fern E. Meyers pers. comm.) During dry periods individuals may be found at the base of sedges, grass clumps and/or Bungwall Fern in the same swamps (E. Meyer pers. comm.). Ingram and Corben (1975) termed L. olongburensis an �acid� frog as this species is confined to sandy heaths and their acidic water. Non breeding habitat not known.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Limited information is available on the breeding biology of the species. Ehmann (1997) recorded males calling in spring, summer and early autumn at night and by day when swamps were rising or ample water was available. Litoria olongburensis mainly breeds following heavy rain in perched swamps, amidst sedges, grasses and/or Bungwell Fern (Blechnum indicum) in still water 0.5-1.5 m deep (E. Meyer pers. comm.). The wallum waters in which the species breeds are typically heavily tanin-stained, highly acidic and generally dillute (E. Meyer pers. comm.). Eggs are attached to grasses and sedges and larvae are nektonic in form and dwell amongst reeds and grasses in water 0.5-1.5 m deep (E. Meyer pers. comm.). Fish are largely absent from habitat occupied by the species (E. Meyer pers. comm.).

Larval L. olongburensis appear to subsist on biofilm enveloping reeds (James 1996; E. Meyers pers. comm.). Adult diet is unknown.

Invasive species: Weed invasion is a potentially threatening process (Hines et al. 1999). Competition from invading frog species and predation from introduced fish (ie. Gambusia holbrooki) have been identified as potentially threatening processes (Ehmann 1997; Hines et al. 1999) however remain untested.

Dispersal abilities and the frequency or likelihood of colonisation events are not known. However, its use of recently created or rehabilitated sites for reproduction suggests that they are quite successful colonists provided there is a natural corridor to aid dispersal (James 1996). The disjunct distribution of the species is associated with considerable genetic structuring between populations (James 1996). Historically, though, dispersal between isolated habitats almost certainly involved short term opportunistic movement across areas during wet periods and long-term population dispersal along suitable corridors (coastal swamps and wallum plains) (James 1996).

Trends and Threats
Populations appear to be relatively stable in protected habitat, however this species is at risk from continuing loss of habitat through clearing for agriculture, pine plantations, housing and infrastructure such as canal development, drainage projects and transport corridors (Ingram & McDonald 1993; Hines et al. 1999). Melaleuca forest and heathland are particularly threatened and have been extensively cleared since 1974 (Catterall and Kingston 1993) suggesting an extensive loss of habitat. Other threats include habitat degradation through changes in hydrological regimes, increased nutrients or sediments, weed invasion, inappropriate fire management, competition from invading frog species and predation from introduced fish (Hines et al. 1999).


Catterall, C.P. and Kingston, M. (1993). Remnant Bushland of South East Queensland in the 1990's: Its Distribution, Loss, Ecological Consequences and Future Prospects. Institute of Applied Environmental Research, Griffith University and Brisbane City Council, Brisbane, Australia.

Ehmann, H. (1997). ''21. Wallum Sedgefrog, Litoria olongburensis.'' Threatened Frogs of New South Wales: Habitats, Status and Conservation. H. Ehmann, eds., Frog and Tadpole Study Group of NSW, Sydney South, Australia, 182-187.

Hines, H., Mahony, M. and McDonald, K. (1999). ''An assessment of frog declines in wet subtropical Australia.'' Declines and Disappearances of Australian Frogs. A. Campbell, eds., Environment Australia, Canberra, 44-63.

Ingram, G. J., and McDonald, K. R. (1993). ''An update on the decline of Queensland's frogs.'' Herpetology in Australia: A diverse discipline. D. Lunney and D. Ayers, eds., Transactions of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, 297-303.

Ingram, G.J. and Corben, C.J. (1975). ''The frog fauna of North Stradbroke Island, with comments on the 'acid' frogs of the wallum.'' Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, 86, 49-54.

James, C. (1996). Conservation Genetics of Island and Mainland Populations of the Sedge Frogs Litoria cooloolensis and Litoria olongburensis. Unpublished final report to Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage, Department of Zoology and Centre for Conservation Biology, University of Queensland.

Liem, D.S and Ingram, G.J. (1977). ''Two new species of frogs (Anura: Myobatrachidae, Pelodryadidae) from Queensland and New South Wales.'' Victorian Naturalist, 94, 255-262.

Tyler, M.J. (1997). The Action Plan for Australian Frogs. Wildlife Australia, Canberra, ACT.

Originally submitted by: Jean-Marc Hero et. al. (first posted 2002-03-15)
Edited by: Ambika Sopory, Jean-Marc Hero (2008-09-16)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Litoria olongburensis: Olongburra Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 18, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 18 Jul 2024.

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