A new species of frog’s been discovered in the Gondwana rainforest of Northern NSW and holy wow they carry their tadpoles with them! 


Very cutely and colloquially known as a ‘hip-pocket’ frog, this rare species was recently discovered by researchers from the University of Newcastle and the South Australian Museum.

The new species has officially been named Assa wollumbin after consultation with the Aboriginal Elders of the Wollumbin Consultative Group. 

It’s only the second frog in Australia known to carry its tadpoles in little pouches on the side of its body while they develop into tiny baby frogs that emerge a few months later.



‘It is also unique among frogs of the world, since there are only 4 of the 4000 species worldwide that have male parental care where the male carries its developing tadpoles,’ said Dr Michael Mahony of the University of Newcastle.

The tiny 16mm frog is believed to only be found within a 2000 hectare area on Wollumbin mountain in Wollumbin National Park, an area Environment Minister Matt Kean has immediately taken action to protect, declaring the habitat an Asset of Intergenerational Significance.

Read more: NSW National Parks has Declared a Zero Extinctions Policy

‘The small population size makes this frog more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which is why the NSW Government moved quickly to protect its habitat within days of being formally described,’ Mr Kean said.

It’s expected that the Assa wollumbin will meet the criteria to be listed as ‘critically endangered’ because of the specific habitat it needs and the confined area it’s found in. 


Photos by Stephen Mahony