Philoria richmondensis is a small frog (adults reach 28 mm in SVL), but with a stout, pear-shaped body. The dorsum and venter are smooth. The head is shorter than wide, with a blunt snout and relatively lateral nostrils. The canthus rostralis is well-defined and concave. Tympana are small and indistinct. The eyes are relatively large and have blue sclera and horizontal pupils. Vomerine teeth are arranged in two lateral plates separated at the midline, behind the level of the choanae. The tongue is rectangular. There is no webbing found on fingers or toes, and digits are long and cylindrical. Finger lengths are, in decreasing order of length, 3>2>4>1. Toe lengths are 4>3>5>2>1. Both inner and outer palmar tubercles are small but distinct. A small, distinct inner metatarsal tubercle is present, but no outer metarsal tubercle. Males have a weakly developed nuptial pad on each thumb. Females have spatulae-shaped first and second fingers. The dorsal color varies from bronze to orange, with zero to many dark speckles. Philoria richmondensis lacks the crescent-shaped black region on the flank that is characteristic of P. pughi. Instead, P. richmondensis has black patches on the lower dorsum, which may sometimes join to form an arrow shape over the middle of the back, and may have black patches on the posterior half of the flank. A black stripe runs posteriorly from the snout through the eye, curving down to reach the base of the forearm. The upper surfaces of the limbs are bronze. Occasionally faint black bands are present on the arms.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Australia
Philoria richmondensis has an extremely limited distribution, as it has been confirmed from only three areas within a single continuous forest block of the Richmond Range. These localities include Dome Mountain, Yabbra, and Toonumbah. It has been reported but not confirmed from another three localities in the Richmond Range. This species inhabits boggy headwaters of streams or temporary pools on the forest floor, in montane rainforests.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species is not abundant and populations have so far been reported to be quite small. Calling males were observed in October (a single group of three males). However, the mating season is likely to last longer, as nests with eggs or tadpoles were found in October and in December. Mating takes place in covered sites on a saturated substrate, such as burrows excavated in mud or under leaf litter or rocks; under creek banks; or in boggy areas, under sphagnum moss mats.
Philoria richmondensis lays 36-50 relatively large eggs in a ground nest, with a foamy mass surrounding the eggs. The female secretes jelly with the eggs, and uses her large, spatulae-shaped fingers to beat the jelly into a foamy mass surrounding the eggs. Initially the foam is frothy with many bubbles. Over time the foam loses its bubbles, settling into a still jelly. The larvae are apparently non-feeding; development through metamorphosis is supported wholly by yolk from the egg. Larvae complete development and metamorphose within the nest, emerging from the nest as froglets.
Trends and Threats
Local agriculture and forestry appear to have drastically reduced the range of this species.
Relation to Humans
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
This species was named for the Richmond Range area, in which it is found.
Knowles, R., Mahony, M., Armstrong, J., and Donnellan, S. (2004). ''Systematics of sphagnum frogs of the genus Philoria in eastern Australia, with the description of two new species.'' Records of the Australian Museum, 56(1), 57-74.
Written by Gary Tsai (gt7 AT berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley undergrad
First submitted 2005-10-24
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2007-08-27)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2007 Philoria richmondensis <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/6275> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Feb 27, 2020.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 27 Feb 2020.
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