What is this frog/toad?

Bluetongue1

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I believe that photo did the rounds on Twitter. For those who do not know, this is NOT an Australian species. It occurs in southern Asia – basically Thailand and the surrounding countries. The reason it looks like Jabba out of Star Wars is that it has inflated itself. It does so as a defensive mechanism to make it look bigger. The following 20 sec video shows an inflated individual deflating itself…

Australia does have its own version - the Turtle Frog Myobatrachus gouldii, from the SW of WA. In fact, it occurs in Banksia woodlands on yellow sand very nearby to where I live. Its common name derives from the fact that it resembles a turtle minus its shell. This is a burrowing species that lives on termites around 1m underground. In contrast to most Australian burrowing frogs, this species burrows forward and not backwards. So the front legs are more powerfully built than the hind limbs.

Locally the species emerges from its burrows with the first significant rainfall towards the end of summer or beginning of autumn, to choose a mate. Pairs then disappear underground together but don’t lay or fertilise eggs until the winter. The eggs are the largest of all Australian frogs and the tadpoles undergo full metamorphosis whilst still in the egg, and so they hatch as froglets.

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reptilesforlife

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Once I looked into the species a bit, I did realise they weren’t native so sorry about that! They are quite elegant and refined creatures though
 

Bluetongue1

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@reptilesforlife
Good on you, but there really is no need to apologise. You simply focused on asking the question of what it was, and one would not expect you to have any idea where this thing originated from.

Reading your reply has made me aware of an oversight I made. That is that I forgot to mention that the shape of our Turtle Frog is permanently as shown. It does not inflate itself. I guess if you live almost all your life underground in sandy soil and feeding on termites, then you don’t need the shape of a normal frog.
 
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