Nature conservation

Threatened species

Pouched Frog - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Assa darlingtoni
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 21 Jan 2019


Pouched frogs are only about 20 mm long. They are grey to pinkish brown or red, usually with distinctive darker patches on the head and body. The sides are usually dark grey to black and there may be a dark broken stripe from the nostril through the eye and down each side. The belly is cream or white with a brown mottled throat and there is a pink spot at the base of each arm. Skin is smooth on the back and the belly but the sides may be rough or warty. Fingers and toes are unwebbed and all digits have slightly swollen tips without fringes. The most distinctive feature, in the male, is the twin pouches, one on each side, where the tadpoles are carried after hatching from eggs laid on the ground. Males call from leaf litter, rocks or logs with a series of rapidly repeated ‘Eh..Eh..Eh..Eh..Eh..Eh..’, usually between six to ten notes, and most vigorously around dawn and dusk.


Relict species occupying disparate and retricted mesic forest refugia mainly within north-east NSW but extends into far south-east Queenland. Occurs in dense but scattered colonies. There are five isolated populations: Dorrigo Plateau, Gibraltar Range, Border Ranges and two in south-east Queensland.

Habitat and ecology

  • Pouched frogs live in cool, moist rainforest, including Antarctic Beech, or moist eucalypt forest in mountainous areas, mostly above 800 m but have been found as low as 300m.
  • They spend most of the time in damp leaf litter, or under rocks and rotten logs.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
New England TablelandsNortheast Forest Lands Known None
New England TablelandsWongwibinda Plateau Predicted None
NSW North CoastChaelundi Known None
NSW North CoastCoffs Coast and Escarpment Known None
NSW North CoastDalmorton Predicted None
NSW North CoastWashpool Known None
Other StateQLD Known None
South Eastern QueenslandBurringbar-Conondale Ranges Known None
South Eastern QueenslandScenic Rim Known None
South Eastern QueenslandSunshine Coast-Gold Coast Lowlands Predicted None
South Eastern QueenslandWoodenbong Known None