Frog Blog: Stonemason ToadletUperoleia lithomoda

Frog Blog: Stonemason ToadletUperoleia lithomoda

Uperoleia lithomoda, photo by Richard D. Reams (CC license)

The Stonemason Toadlet (Uperoleia lithomoda) is another small toadlet from the Top End of Australia.   Like the other “toadlets” in the Australian genus Uperoleia, they are neither toads nor related to toads.  They are related to other Australian Ground Frogs in the family Myobatrachidae.   It is another of the many examples where the English words “frog” and “toad” fail to adequately describe the broad diversity of Anurans that are found throughout the world.

Like other Uperoleia, the Stonemason Toadlet remains burrowed underground through much of the year and only emerges to breed during the rains of the wet season.   I recorded these Stonemason Toadlets calling next to the road in Kakadu National Park after some heavy rains on the evening of January 4, 2024.

I never saw the toadlets making this call, so I am once again indebted to the generosity of other photographers who allow their iNaturalist record photos to be used under a Creative Commons License.   This great photo was posted by Richard D. Reams (username rreams) on his record for the species from further west in the Northern Territory.

The call of the Stonemason Toadlet sounds like the clicking of stones together, or as the common name implies, the sound of a stonemason at work.   For those of use more familiar with North American frog calls, it is reminiscent of the clicking of our Cricket Frogs (genus Acris).

In this recording, you hear Stonemason Toadlets calling against a background of the raspy calls of the Desert Treefrog (Litoria rubella).

Uropelia lithomoda calling from Kakadu National Park


© Chris Harrison 2024 

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