Photo: This Crucifix Frog looks a little Frowny by Dr. Paul Stewart
by Becky Crew
LOOK AT THIS fat little guy. No one has more personality than this warty, ping-pong ball of a guy.
He’s a crucifix frog (Notaden bennettii), native to western New South Wales and south-western Queensland.
The crucifix frog (often called a toad) is decorated with a striking black, red, and green cross-shaped pattern that runs all the way across its bright yellow back, as you can see below.
Looking at the back of the crucifix frog, you can see how its name came about. (Image Credit: Dr Paul Anthony Stewart/Flickr: Paulhypno)
Obviously these colours wouldn’t do much to help the crucifix frog camouflage against the blackish flood plains it lives on – quite the opposite, they’re there to make the frog stand out.
The crucifix frog is one of the only species of Australian frog to employ aposematism, which is the use of bright patterning to ward off predators.