This species occurs in northwestern Australia. It is currently known from: a) two locations near "The Grotto", approximately 30 km south of Wyndham, in the northeasternmost part of Western Australia (Doughty and Anstis, 2007); b) the Mitchell Plateau and Prince Regent Nature Reserve in the northern part of the Kimberley Plateau (Doughty and Anstis, 2007); and c) Katers Island, Bigge Island and Southwest Osborn Island (P. Doughty pers. comm.). Extensive searches of museum collections of the related Litoria coplandi have not turned up any additional specimens of L. staccato, suggesting that it has a naturally small distribution (Doughty and Anstis, 2007). However, owing to the inaccessibility of the Kimberley region due to the rugged terrain and large areas with no vehicular access, it is likely that L. staccato will be found elsewhere in the Kimberley Plateau, and possibly also to the east in the Northern Territory (Doughty and Anstis, 2007).
Habitat and Ecology
In general, the species seems to prefer big flat rock platforms with lots of shallow, ephemeral pools in which to breed (P. Doughty pers. comm.), and also smaller creeks (that run into larger ones below) (M. Anstis pers. comm.). Owing to their slightly more ridge-dwelling existence compared to the common rock frog Litoria coplandi, L. staccato can be found in a wider range of places with less water. L. coplandi is more common around flowing streams, whereas L. staccato is happy can be found on ridges with no water around (P. Doughty pers. comm.). This species has been found in two areas near "The Grotto" with flowing water. The first was a steep rocky ridge with a slow trickle of water running under large boulders where males were calling, and where the eggs and tadpoles were collected (Doughty and Anstis, 2007). The second area was a creek that ran down a rocky ridge, about 2-3 km long (Doughty and Anstis, 2007). Both sources of water came from underground streams that flowed from near the top of ridges. The vegetation at the rocky ridge sites where L. staccato occurs is sparse but dominated by Triodia wiseana with Cochlospermum fraseri, Calytrix exstipulata and stunted Erythrophlem chlorostachys (Doughty and Anstis, 2007). Along the watercourses where L. staccato was calling were Triodia pungens, Terminalia volucris, Ficus sp. and occasionally the boab tree Adansonia gregorii (Doughty and Anstis, 2007).
It can be quite abundant at choruses located in ideal habitat.
This species occurs in a remote area with limited human impact, where there are not likely to be many threats in operation.
Known locations include the rocky southern portion of the Parry's Lagoon Nature Reserve, and the Prince Regent Nature Reserve (Doughty and Anstis, 2007). Surveys are needed to determine the geographic range of this species more completely.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Marion Anstis, Paul Doughty 2008. Litoria staccato. In: IUCN 2014