Nature conservation

Threatened species

Red-crowned Toadlet - 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: Pseudophryne australis
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 19 Jul 2002
Profile last updated: 01 Dec 2017


The Red-crowned Toadlet is an unmistakable small frog, usually measuring less than 30 mm long. It is dark brown to black, with distinctive reddish-orange patches, one between the eyes and one along the rump. It also has a white patch at the base of each arm. The belly is marbled black and white. The tadpoles are black and reach about 25 mm. The short, grating and "squelchy" call can be heard all year round.


The Red-crowned Toadlet has a restricted distribution. It is confined to the Sydney Basin, from Pokolbin in the north, the Nowra area to the south, and west to Mt Victoria in the Blue Mountains.

Habitat and ecology

  • Occurs in open forests, mostly on Hawkesbury and Narrabeen Sandstones.
  • Inhabits periodically wet drainage lines below sandstone ridges that often have shale lenses or cappings.
  • Shelters under rocks and amongst masses of dense vegetation or thick piles of leaf litter.
  • Breeding congregations occur in dense vegetation and debris beside ephemeral creeks and gutters. Red-crowned Toadlets have not been recorded breeding in waters that are even mildly polluted or with a pH outside the range 5.5 to 6.5.
  • Eggs are laid in moist leaf litter, from where they are washed by heavy rain; a large proportion of the development of the tadpoles takes place in the egg.
  • Disperses outside the breeding period, when they are found under rocks and logs on sandstone ridges and forage amongst leaf-litter.
  • Red-crowned Toadlets are quite a localised species that appear to be largely restricted to the immediate vicinity of suitable breeding habitat. Red-crowned Toadlets are usually found as small colonies scattered along ridges coinciding with the positions of suitable refuges near breeding sites. Due to this tendency for discrete populations to concentrate at particular sites, a relatively small localised disturbance may have a significant impact on a local population if it occurs on a favoured breeding or refuge site.

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
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Range Predicted None
NSW North CoastEllerston Predicted None
NSW North CoastTomalla Predicted None
NSW North CoastUpper Hunter Predicted None
NSW South Western SlopesCapertee Valley Predicted None
OceanHawkesbury Shelf Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBathurst Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsCapertee Uplands Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsKanangra Predicted None
Sydney BasinBurragorang Known None
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None
Sydney BasinHunter Known None
Sydney BasinIllawarra Known None
Sydney BasinKerrabee Known None
Sydney BasinMoss Vale Known None
Sydney BasinPittwater Known None
Sydney BasinSydney Cataract Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None
Sydney BasinWyong Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Known None