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Moss Froglet, Bryobatrachus nimbus

Moss froglet
Moss froglet dorsal

Moss Froglet (Top photo by PWS,
bottom photo by Mike Driessen)

The latest 'addition' to the Tasmanian frog fauna came in 1992, when the Moss Froglet was discovered in the Hartz Mountains by David Ziegeler. To date, this species is only known from the south of south-western Tasmania.


A small frog to 30 mm, the Moss Froglet has a dark brown to grey-brown or tan uppersurface with a distinctive chevron-shaped patch on the head between the eyes and a pair of parallel dark lines running from the shoulder along the anterior of the back. The undersurface is granular, dusky grey with white spots or pale with darker spots.


The Moss Froglet is a most unusual frog in that tadpoles develop on land. Breeding occurs from November to February. Four to 16 large eggs are laid in clumps of sphagnum or lichen and the tadpoles develop within the egg. After hatching the tadpoles do not feed, but spend the following 9-10 months of development within a fluid derived from the broken-down egg capsules (a gelatinous mass). Tadpoles reach 21 mm in length.


Moss Froglet

The call of the species has been likened to a ping pong ball being dropped on wood. Indeed, it was the frog's call that first alerted its discoverer to the existence of the species. It is believed that the species calls from spring to early summer. (Audio recordings courtesy of Peter Brown)

Moss Froglet Distribution map courtesy
Natural Values Atlas
data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania.

Distribution and Habitat

This species is endemic to Tasmania and is restricted to the southern part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. It is found in sub-alpine moorland and rainforest.