Western Water-holding Frog

Cyclorana occidentalis (Anstis, Price, Roberts, Catalano, Hines, Doughty & Donnellan 2016)

Species Info Card | Updated 6 years ago

A large robust frog with a flattened appearance. The eyes are perched on top of a depressed head, the mouth is large, limbs are short and there is extensive webbing between the toes. Colouration ranges from pale grey to dark brown. Males to 6 cm; females to 7 cm.

Breeding Biology

Responds to cyclonic rains in summer and breeds in temporary water bodies. Females lay large masses containing up to 500 eggs. Large tadpoles (up to 8 cm) and sizes at metamorphosis (3.5 cm).


Widely distributed across many habitat types. Probably a top predator of other frog species that breed in temporary or permanent arid water bodies.


occidentalis means 'from the west'.


The placement of the eyes on top of the head and the extensive webbing between the toes areindicative of a highly aquatic lifestyle. It can form a 'cacoon' by progressively shedding its skin in its burrow, and can then hibernate for months until rains come. The large body size and mouth suggests it feeds on other frogs, possibly frogs breeding in the temporary ponds it tends to inhabit.

Distribution map for Water-holding Frog

Arid zone of WA. 

A low-pitched 'waah waah waah...' repeated 80 times per minute.