Ecology and Behaviour
The Southern Gastric-brooding Frog lived in areas of rainforest, wet sclerophyll forest and riverine gallery open forest. They were a predominately aquatic species closely associated with watercourses and adjacent rock pools and soaks. Streams that the Southern Gastric Brood Frog were found in were mostly permanent and only ceased to flow during years of very low rainfall. Sites where Southern Gastric-brooding Frogs were found usually consisted of closed forests with emergent eucalypts, however there was sites where open forest and grassy ground cover were the predominate vegetation. There is no record for this species occurring in cleared riparian habitat. Searches during spring and summer showed that the favored diurnal habitat was at the edge of rock pools, either amongst leaf litter, under or between stones or in rock crevices. They were also found under rocks in shallow water. Winter surveys of sites where Southern Gastric Brooding Frogs were common only recovered two specimens, and it is assumed that they hibernated during the colder months. Adult males preferred deeper pools than the juveniles and females which tended to inhabit shallower, newly created (after rain) pools that contained stones and/or leaf litter. Individuals only left themselves fully exposed while sitting on rocks during light rain.
The call of the Southern Gastric-brooding Frog has been described as an "eeeehm...eeeehm" with an upward inflection. It lasts for around 0.5 s and was repeated every 6–7 seconds.
Southern Gastric Brooding Frogs have been observed feeding on insects from the land and water. In aquarium situations Lepidoptera, Diptera and Neuroptera were eaten.
Being a largely aquatic species the Southern Gastric-brooding Frog was never recorded more than 4 m (13 ft) from water. Studies by Glen Ingram showed that the movements of this species were very restricted. Of ten juvenile frogs, only two moved more than 3 metres between observations. Ingram also recorded the distance moved along a stream by seven adult frogs between seasons (periods of increased activity, usually during summer). Four females moved between 1.8–46 metres (5 ft 10 in–150 ft 10 in) and three males covered 0.9–53 m (2 ft 10 in–173 ft 10 in). Only three individuals moved more than 5.5 m (18 ft) (46 m, 46 m and 53 m). It appeared that throughout the breeding season adult frogs would remain in the same pools or cluster of pools, only moving out during periods of flooding or increased flow.
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