AmphibiaWeb - Cophixalus zweifeli


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Cophixalus zweifeli Davies & McDonald, 1998
Black Mountain Boulder Frog
family: Microhylidae
subfamily: Asterophryinae
genus: Cophixalus
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Data Deficient (DD)
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Cophixalus zwifeli has a head which is slightly narrower than body, snout turncate dorsally, straight and slightly projecting when viewed laterally. Loreal region is steeply sloping anteroventrally, nares on anterolateral tip of snout. All specimens collected for this species have been females, thus coloration of males is unknown. Dorsal color is beigve when observed at night, darkening to tan during the day with widely scattered irregular brown speckles. There is brown mottling on the arms and thighs. A black canthal streak stretches posteriorly from anterior tip of snot through loreal region, eye and dorsal/posterior region of tympanum. A crescent shaped blotch is present on the anteroventral area of adjacent to tympanum. Axilla, groin, hidden parts of the thighs, ventral tibia, and inner half of foot are flame scarlet (Davies and McDonald 1998). Ventral surface is densely mottled light purple on throat and chest becoming more diffuse posteriorly. Brown ventral surface to hand and foot. Relative lengths of fingers are 3>4>2>1, discs on fingers 2-4 are greatly enlarged and truncate. Relative lengths of toes are 4>3>5>2>1. Dorsal and ventral surfaces are smooth. This species is also unique in that it lacks procoracoids and clavicles, has a snout that is not narrrow or elongate and lacks a hypertorphied serous gland on the snout. It is a fairly large species (females, 40.1-45.4 mm SVL) with long legs, and flash coloration. Pre-sacral vertebrae are non-imbricate and vestigial transverse processses are apparent on the urostyle. Tips of the terminal phalanges of the hands and feet are T-shaped.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Australia, Papua New Guinea


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Northern Queensland in the Wet Tropics bioregion in Cape Melville National Park. The extent of occurrence of the species is approximately 3600 km2.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Restricted to boulder fields of Altanmoui granite with patches of closed moist vegetation. Found on rocks near creeks that flow through the boulder formation.

Trends and Threats
Only 3 known specimens and no further sightings. Further searches are required to confirm extent of occurrence and area of occupancy.


Conservation Measures
Protected within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.


Davies, M., and McDonald, K.R. (1998). ''A new species of frog (Anura: Microhylidae) from Cape Melville, Queensland.'' Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 122(4), 159-165.

Originally submitted by: Jean-Marc Hero et. al. (first posted 2002-04-05)
Edited by: Ambika Sopory, Jean-Marc Hero, Raul E. Diaz (2008-09-16)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Cophixalus zweifeli: Black Mountain Boulder Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 13, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Apr 2024.

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