Bleating Froglet

Crinia pseudinsignifera Main 1957

Species Info Card | Updated 1 decade ago

A small ground-dwelling frog attaining a maximum length of 3 cm. The upper surface normally has a number of bumps and longitudinal ridges. The back is usually a combination of brown, black and grey blotches and stripes in a predominantly longitudinal fashion. The belly is granular, and coloured in a black and white (or grey) marbled pattern. Males are generally smaller than females and have a dark border around the chin.

Breeding Biology

Mating takes place throughout the winter months and into early spring. Breeding may start in autumn in the far south of its range. Males and females stay in amplexus together for one or two nights so the female can lay her full complement of eggs.

Eggs are laid singly or in small clumps in shallow water towards the edge of soaks, swamps, streams and pools on outcrops. Eggs sink to the bottom and accumulate a fine coating of silt, making them very difficult to see. A female will typically lay 100-200 eggs.

Tadpoles of the Bleating and squelching Froglets are very similar to each other in appearance and can only be separated reliably by geographic location and call. The back colour is a mottling of brown and grey with occasional white flecks. The tail tip is broadly rounded. During the day tadpoles rest in the shallows of permanent and temporary water, but will bury themselves in sediment if disturbed. They remain as tadpoles for 3-4 months.


Common around dams, lakes, temporary swamps and inundated roadside verges. In the wheatbelt they occur in flooded paddocks, ditches, dams and pools on granite outcrops and in the creeks that flow from the rocks.


pseud means 'false'; thus, 'false insignifera' in reference to this species' close similarity to the Squelching Froglet (C. insignifera).


Bleating Froglets are known to interbreed with the closely related Squelching Froglet where their ranges abut (where the Coastal Plain meets the Darling Range).

Although they are extremely similar morphologically, the calls of these frogs are sufficiently different to consider them two separate species.

Distribution map of the Bleating Froglet

A common species from Geraldton to Walpole and east to Esperance. Bleating Frogs occur inland to the western parts of the wheatbelt. It is replaced on the Swan Coastal Plain by the extremely similar Squelching Froglet (Crinia insignifera).

The call is a high-pitched and wavering 'baaa...baaa...baaa'.