Carpenter Frog

Limnodynastes lignarius (Tyler, Martin & Davies 1979)

Species Info Card | Updated 7 years ago

A medium to large-sized frog. The head and body are broad, with a very large exposed tympanum. Limbs of moderate length, but with males having much larger arms. In the breeding season males have clusters of spines on the first finger and small spiked tubercles along the back. The fingers are unwebbed and the toes have only basal webbing. They have a medium to dark mottled olive and crimson colouration with a faint overlying network pattern. To 60 mm total length.

Breeding Biology

A foam nest is created in rock pools or at the base of rocky slopes. Females lay between 300-400 eggs in the nest. Tadpoles are black with large sucker mouths. They reach a size of about 6 cm in length.


Always associated with rocks whether along streams, on scree slopes or in caves.


The name lignarius means 'woodwooker' in Latin and refers to the sound of the call. This species has recently been transferred from its own genus Megistolotis to Limnodynastes which has mainly marsh-dwelling species. Its preference for rock-dwelling and the large eardrum previously obscured its true evolutionary relationships.


This is a commonly heard (if not seen) species that occurs in rocky areas, especially rocky creeks with slow-flowing water.

Distribution map for Carpenter Frog

Scattered areas in the Kimberley. Also in the Top End.

 A soft hollow tap repeated slowly.