Crucifix Toad

Crucifix Toad
Crucifix Toad
A male Crucifix toad.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Myobatrachidae
Subfamily: Limnodynastinae
Genus: Notaden
Species: N. bennettii
Binomial name
Notaden bennettii
Günther, 1873
Range of the Crucifix Toad
A small Holy Cross Frog.

The Crucifix Toad or Holy Cross Frog (Notaden bennettii) is an Australian, fossorial frog. It is one of the few Australian frogs to display aposematism. It is native to wastern New South Wales, and south western Queensland.


Physical description

The Crucifix Toad is the most distinctive species of frog within the Notaden genus. Whereas most Notaden frogs are dark brown in colour, the Crucifix Toad exhibits many bright colours. Its dorsal surface is bright yellow, with a cross of many colours centered on the back. The cross is outlined with large, black dots, and filled with white, black and red dots. The ventral surface is white, and the flank's blue.

The Crucifix Toad is a small, and very round frog. Its nose is blunt, and legs and feet are small. As this species is fossorial, the tympanum is hidden. Males reach a length of 6.3 centimetres (2.5 in), and females a length of 6.8 centimetres (2.7 in). The species feet have little "spades" to help them burrow deeply.[1]

Ecology and behaviour

The Crucifix Toad is a ground dwelling frog, which inhabits the arid areas of western New South Wales and Queensland. To survive long periods without water, the Crucifix Toad will bury itself underground and encase itself in a cocoon.[2] Upon very heavy rain, they will emerge from the ground, and begin breeding in temporary ponds. The males call from within the pond to attract the female. The call is a "woop". The development of the tadpole is rapid so as to take advantage of the wet conditions and reducing the risk of them dying from the pond drying up. The cycle is so quick it can be over in six weeks.[2]

The frog exudes a tacky and elastic "frog glue" onto its dorsal skin when provoked. Its purpose is uncertain; it may be intended to confuse and deter predators such as snakes, or to trap biting insects (which would later be consumed when the frog sheds and eats its skin). Male Crucafix Toads have been documented to use this glue to attach themselves onto the larger females during mating. The glue has been found to be stronger than available non-toxic medical adhesives and is the subject of further study. The glue is a protein-based pressure-sensitive adhesive that functions even in wet conditions.[1][3]

The Crucifix Toad's diet primarily consists of ants and termites.

See also

Further reading

  • Barker, J.; Grigg, G.C. & Tyler, M.J. (1995). A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Surrey Beatty & Sons. ISBN 0-949324-61-2. 


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Notaden — Crucifix Toad (Notaden bennettii) Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia …   Wikipedia

  • Katholikenfrosch — (Notaden bennettii), aufgeplustertes Männchen Systematik Klasse: Lurche (Amphibia) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Anfibios de Australia — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Los anfibios de Australia están limitados a especie del orden Anura, siendo cerca de 230 de las 5,280 especies de anuros nativas de Australia, con un un 93% de ellas endémicas.[1] Comparado con otros continentes, la… …   Wikipedia Español

  • List of Emily Dickinson poems — This is a list of Emily Dickinson poems. There are 1,775 known poems that have been written by Dickinson. The poems are alphabetized by their first line. Punctuation, capitalization and even in some cases wording of the first lines may vary… …   Wikipedia

  • exorcism —    The expulsion of DEMONs and other unwanted spirits from a person or place. Rites of exorcism have been performed since ancient times as remedies against the negative or malevolent influences of spirits, such as the perceived cause of illnesses …   Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology

  • Mao Zedong — Mao redirects here. For other uses, see Mao (disambiguation). This is a Chinese name; the family name is Mao. Mao Ze dong 毛泽东 Official 1967 Portrait of Mao Ze …   Wikipedia

  • Deer — This article is about the ruminant animal. For other uses, see Deer (disambiguation). Fawn and Stag redirect here. For other uses, see Fawn (disambiguation) and Stag (disambiguation). Deer Temporal range: Early Oligocene–Recent …   Wikipedia

  • List of endangered species in the British Isles — This is a list of endangered and threatened animal and plant species in the British Isles. They are endangered or have reducing populations within the British Isles and may become extinct in the future. Some suffer because of loss of habitat, but …   Wikipedia

  • dagger — Synonyms and related words: Calvary cross, Christogram, Greek cross, Jerusalem cross, Latin cross, Maltese cross, Russian cross, T, X, ankh, avellan cross, ax, bayonet, blade, bowie knife, chi, chi rho, christcross, cold steel, crisscross, cross …   Moby Thesaurus

  • satanism —    Devotion to SATAN, the DEVIL, or forces of darkness. Satanism is not structured as a single, unified organization or movement. Some forms of it are religious and involve worship of Satan, while other forms involve high magic or are… …   Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology