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Desert Spadefoot (Notaden nichollsi)

We found these little guys out at Lake Louisa on the Dampier Peninsula. They burrow into the soft sandy loam there and almost look like they are dancing!

They breed whenever the conditions are just right (opportunistically). It was late dry when we visited the lake but there was still heaps of water in it so at places like this its easy to imagine them breeding all year round.  We taped all the frog calls at night and there was plenty of activity. Like a frog nightclub really!

Apparently larval life of the tadpoles can be completed in 30 days, which must serve them well in much dryer areas of their range and where waterbodies are less permanent.

Even though it was November and it was really hot and dry, the frogs were still active at night, and even away from the waters edge.

By Louise Beames (photos by Gary Lienert)


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