AmphibiaWeb - Platyplectrum ornatum


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Platyplectrum ornatum (Gray, 1842)
Ornate Burrowing Frog
family: Myobatrachidae
subfamily: Limnodynastinae
genus: Platyplectrum
Platyplectrum ornatum
© 2022 Tiffany Kosch (1 of 25)

sound file   hear call (779.4K MP3 file)
sound file   hear call (5727.2K WAV file)

[call details here]

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Australia

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
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Along the northern and eastern sections of Australia. From the Kimberley zone in Western Australia, across northern Northern Territory, northern and south-eastern Queensland and into the central coast of New South Wales. The extent of occurrence of the species is approximately 2,244,000 km2.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Found in many habitats that are subject to seasonal inundation. Often found in dry sandy watercourses some distance from permanent water. They burrow in the daytime and may spend the dry season in a dormant state well beneath the surface.

Breeds in the wet season only after heavy rain. Males call whilst floating in the water, which may be only a small puddle. Females lay about 1000 eggs in a foam nest that collapses after a few hours to form a floating layer up to 7cm across. Females may breed more than once each season.

Trends and Threats
No known declines and large extent of occurrence.

None known.

Conservation Measures
None in place.

This species was highlighted in News of the Week, 29 March 2021:

Amphibians stand apart from all other vertebrates in their great range of genome sizes. They are largest in the salamanders, where genomes are huge (over 100 gigabases), but genomes of some frogs enter the salamander range and can be quite large (the largest reported is for the myobatrachid Arenophryne rotunda). Caecilians are somewhat intermediate. The smallest amphibian genomes are also found in myobatrachid frogs. Lamichhaney et al. (2021) reports on the genome of Platyplectrum ornatum, a small burrowing frog from Australia with a very small genome -- 1.05 Gb, like that of birds. Transposable elements (TE) account for much of the extreme growth of amphibian genomes, but here all major classes of TE are reduced. Keeping TE's in check appears to be a key to genome miniaturization, and it may be driven by convergence in life history in small genomed species, in particular rapid and flexible tadpole developmental time and carnivorous tadpoles. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the genome is evolutionarily reduced rather than being a primary feature of this taxon. (David Wake)


Barker, J., Grigg, G. C., and Tyler, M. J. (1995). A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Surrey Beatty and Sons, New South Wales.

Margules, C.R., Davies, K.F., Meyers, J.A., and Milkovits, G.A. (1995). ''The responses of some selected arthropods and the frog Crinia signifera to habitat fragmentation.'' Conserving Biodiversity: Threats and Solutions. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Sydney, 94-103.

Originally submitted by: Jean-Marc Hero et. al. (first posted 2002-04-05)
Distribution by: Michelle S. Koo (updated 2021-04-04)
Life history by: Michelle S. Koo (updated 2021-04-04)
Comments by: Michelle S. Koo (updated 2021-04-04)

Edited by: Ambika Sopory (2021-04-04)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Platyplectrum ornatum: Ornate Burrowing Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 23, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 23 Jul 2024.

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