The tiny but spectacular frog known as Geocrinia otwaysensis Hoser, 2020 has got to be one of the most amazing scientific discoveries in recent times.
It is unusual among morphologically similar species in that it lays eggs that hatch on land, versus the usual situation of eggs being laid in water.
In fact the whole life cycle of the species is unusual by frog standards!
It has got to be the sexiest frog ever discovered in the State of Victoria and is well and truly endemic, being confined to the Otways in south-west Victoria.
They were found to be out and about and breeding this week (mid March 2023), by the Snakeman Raymond Hoser, while sleeping overnight at Mount Sabine, before going to do a hands on reptile display at the Apollo Bay Show on 18 March 2023.
Because of the distance from Melbourne and his busy schedule, the Snakeman drove most of the way to Apollo Bay, before deciding to drive a few kms off the main road to find a quiet place to sleep without traffic noise.
So he took the left turn just past Forrest to sleep at the Mount Sabine camp ground for a few hours before driving the last 20 km to the Apollo Bay showgrounds.
As he went to sleep, he heard in the distance a frog call that was different to anything he'd heard previously, but because it was similar to that of Geocrinia victoriana, Hoser assumed it was probably from Geocrinia otwaysensis.
The following morning, he rolled up his swag and walked down to a nearby swamp and investigated. He soon found dozens of Geocrinia otwaysensis, including 6 under one piece of wood.
The males were calling, the females were coming to them and there were fertilized egg masses all over the place.
Hoser went off to the Apollo Bay Show and worked there with the world's deadliest snakes and his hands on reptiles display for 7 hours, before returning to Mount Sabine to check out things more thoroughly.
Significanly Hoser even recorded Geocrinia otwaysensis calling from the drainage ditch immediately behind his display at the Apollo Bay Show!
However Hoser chose not to look for frogs there as the number calling was far less than had been heard at Mount Sabine.
But upon returning to Mount Sabine, Hoser found that the area was literally overrun with Geocrinia otwaysensis and numerous world-first observations were recorded for the first time ever.
Frogs were found around every swamp and ditch full of water in the area.
Most seen were males, but so many were in the area, that Hoser soon gave up looking for them, or counting them.
Suffice to say that the population was healthy and breeding well.
A number of frog species have recently suffered precipitous declines arsing from a fungus that has attacked them.
Fortunately Geocrinia otwaysensis does not appear to be one of them.
Geocrinia otwaysensis was only discovered and formally named by Snakeman Raymond Hoser in 2020 in one of the big frog monographs of the Lockdown period.
This taxon was previously treated as a population of the better known species Geocrinia victoriana from Eastern Victoria or similarly well-known Geocrinia laevis from Tasmania.
In fact it is neither!
Geocrinia otwaysensis is most readily separated from its nearest related species by colouration in the groin (or lack of it in terms of distinctive black bordering and marbling seen in the other species, G. victoriana and G. laevis) and even different looking tadpoles.
See the groin colouration in these species in the two images below.
Geocrinia otwaysensis is also separated from both other nearest related species by call.
In the pulse mode, Geocrinia otwaysensis usually calls at 5-6 pulses per 2 seconds, versus 8-9 in Geocrinia victoriana.
Listen to recordings of a few Geocrinia otwaysensis at:
Geocrinia otwaysensis calling 1
Geocrinia otwaysensis calling 2
Geocrinia otwaysensis calling 3
Geocrinia otwaysensis calling 4
Then compare with the far higher frequency of pulses in the call of Geocrinia victoriana as seen in the recordings below:
Geocrinia victoriana calling 1
Geocrinia victoriana calling 2
Geocrinia victoriana calling 3
Speaking of frogs in the greater Geocrinia group ....
Anstisia Webster and Bool, 2022 is an illegally coined junior synonym of Wellingtondella Hoser, 2020.
Read about their act of plagiarisation here!
Get the full text of the definitive paper:
Hoser, R. T. 2020. 3 new tribes, 3 new subtribes, 5 new genera, 3 new subgenera, 39 new species and 11 new subspecies of mainly small ground-dwelling frogs from Australia. Australasian Journal of Herpetology ® Issues 50-51, published 10 October 2020, pages 1-128.
Full text at:
For more photos, hi res images or information, please contact Raymond Hoser directly on:
Raymond Hoser is Australia's foremost frog expert, having discovered and named more Australian species and genera of frog than anyone else ever.
As there are very few frog species left to be discovered in Australia, no one will ever name more frog species in Australia than Raymond Hoser.
Raymond Hoser is also the world's foremost reptile expert!
He has discovered and named more species of snake than any person alive!
He has discovered and named more species of lizard than any person alive!
He has discovered and named more species of turtle than any person alive!
He has discovered and named more species of crocodile than anyone else alive!
He has discovered and named more species of frog in Australia than anyone else in history!
He has discovered and named more species of reptile than anyone else in Australia's history (over 200)
Add to that some species of fish, mammals and a few other bits and pieces and it is easy to see that the Snakeman is a scientific eco-powerhouse.
On this page below here are photos of some of the better-known species he has discovered and named.
But because he has named over 2,000 family, genera and species, only a fraction are shown here.
Some of these critters really are spectacular!
Images are below the names of them
Eastern Pygmy King Brown Snake Cannia pailsei Hoser, 1998
Papuan Pygmy King Brown Snake Cannia rossignolii Hoser, 2000
Territory Mainland Pygmy King Brown Snake Cannia hoserae Hoser, 2013
South Wet Tropics Rough-scaled Snake Tropidechis sadlieri Hoser, 2003
South Pilbara Death Adder Acanthophis wellsei Hoser, 1998
Dick Shearim's Burrowing Snake Brachyurophis richardshearimi Hoser, 2020
Ron Hoser's Skink Allengreerus ronhoseri Hoser, 2009
The Bigmore's Rock Monitor Worrellisaurus bigmoreum Hoser, 2018
Makhans Rock Monitor Worrellisaurus makhani Hoser, 2013
Maxine's cool skink Abbasaurum (or Carinascincus) maxinehoserae Hoser, 2022
Hoser's spikey skink Silubosaurus (or Egernia) hoserae Hoser, 2018
Mensforth's Gecko Underwoodisaurus mensforthi Hoser, 2016
Eastern Broad-shelled Turtle Supremechelys duboisi Hoser, 2014
Hoser's River Frog Mixophyes hoserae Hoser, 2020
Hoser's Froglet Paracrinia lenhoseri Hoser, 2020
Jacky Hoser's Dragon Ctenophorus jackyhoserae Hoser, 2020
Wifi Tree Frog Colleeneremia wifi Hoser, 2020
Martinek's Skink Litotescincus martinekae Hoser, 2022
Crotty's Gecko Heteronotia crottyi Hoser, 2022
Tropical Rough-skinned Gecko Heteronotia nonidem Hoser, 2022
Maxine Hoser's Gecko Heteronotia maxinehoserae Hoser, 2022
Otways Geocrinia Geocrinia otwaysensis Hoser, 2020
Click here to hear their call
Kumanjayi Walker's Red-eyed Tree Frog Kumanjayiwalkerus kumanjayi Hoser, 2020
Shireen Hoser's Burrowing Skink Anepischetosia shireenhoserae Hoser, 2022
Jacky Hoser's Skink Allengreerus jackyhoserae Hoser, 2012
Yes this tiny skink is one of the most common species of lizard found in Melbourne's back yards!
Alex Antenor's Striped Marsh Frog Limnodynastes alexantenori Hoser, 2020
One of the most common frogs in Melbourne (Australia) on the east side and into Gippsland!
Cameron Gant's Western Striped Marsh Frog Limnodynastes cameronganti Hoser, 2020
One of the most common frogs in south-west Victoria and adjacent South Australia!
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