AmphibiaWeb - Neobatrachus sudellae
Neobatrachus sudellae Lamb, 1911
Painted Burrowing Frog, Common Spadefoot Toad
family: Myobatrachidae
subfamily: Limnodynastinae
genus: Neobatrachus

© 2008 Kerry Kriger (1 of 1)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Australia


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Endemic to Australia, from south-central Queensland throughout central New South Wales and into central Victoria. The extent of occurrence of the species is approximately 911900 km2 (Barker et al 1995; Cogger 1992; Hero, J.-M et al 1991).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
An inhabitant of dry regions. Found in woodlands, shrublands, mallee and open grassland and disturbed areas. Becomes active after rains and is buried in soft loam or clay soils much of the time.

Breeds after heavy rain and flooding. Males call whilst floating in open, shallow and still water.

Eggs are contained within long jelly strings and are wrapped around submerged vegetation in ponds, dams, ditches and flooded claypans. Tadpoles are aquatic and may take 4- 7 months to develop. (Barker et al 1995; Cogger 1992; Hero, J.-M et al 1991).

Trends and Threats
No known declines and extent of occurrence > 20,000km2.

None known.

Conservation Measures
None in place.

This species is one of three polyploid species in this genus; the other species are diploid (Roberts 2010).

This species was featured as News of the Week on 30 November 2020:

While common in plants, whole genome duplication, or polyploidy, is rare in animals. The animals that are polyploid tend to reproduce asexually. Notable exceptions in the amphibian world that display both polyploidy and sexual reproduction, include members of the Xenopus genus and Bufotes viridis complex. Novikova et al. (2020) investigated another system in the Australian genus Neobatrachus, where six members are diploid and three are tetraploid, to better understand the evolutionary role of polyploidism. They found asymmetric gene flow from the more isolated diploid species to tetraploids, which have wider distributions, as the origin of the polyploid species. Furthermore, these inter-specific hybrid tetraploids displayed more wide-spread gene flow and were more tolerant of climate-induced habitat loss, providing a potential rescue effect to species diversity in the genus. (AChang)


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

Cogger, H.G. (1992). Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books, New South Wales.

Hero, J.-M., Littlejohn, M., and Marantelli, G. (1991). Frogwatch Field Guide to Victorian Frogs. Department of Conservation and Environment, Victoria.

Roberts JD (2010). ''Taxonomic status of the Australian burrowing frogs Neobatrachus sudelli, N. centralis and Neoruinosus and clarification of the type specimen of N. albipes.'' Records of the Western Australian Museum, 25, 455–8. [link]

Originally submitted by: Jean-Marc Hero et. al. (first posted 2002-04-05)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Michelle Koo (2020-11-29)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2020 Neobatrachus sudellae: Painted Burrowing Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 28, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 28 Mar 2023.

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