Frogs of Australia > Frogs of Australia > Glossary of terms

Glossary of terms

Parts of a Frog

  1. Dorsolateral fold
  2. Parotoid gland
  3. Tympanum
  4. Supratympanic ridge
  5. Fingers without webbing
  6. Tibial gland
  7. Groin (between leg & body)
  8. Cloaca
  9. Pads or discs
  10. Vocal sac
  11. Fingers
  12. Toes webbed


Aquatic: living in water.

Bask: sit in sunlight (usually to warm up).

Cloaca: joint opening of the digestive, urinary, and reproductive tracts. [see diagram].

Digits: fingers or toes. [see diagram].

Discs/Pads: round flat endings to digits to aid in climbing. [see diagram].

Dorsal: referring to the back or upper surface.

Dorsolateral fold: a fold of skin or ridge separating the dorsal (back) surface from the lateral (side) surface. [see diagram].

Endemic: restricted to a particular region.

Genera: a group of related species, sharing the same first name. (eg. Litoria).

Groin: area on side of body, at the base of leg. [see diagram].

Herpetologist: scientist who studies reptiles and amphibians.

Insectivorous: feeding on insects and usually other small invertebrates.

Invertebrate: animal without a backbone.

Lateral: referring to the side surface.

Longitudinal: running lengthways along the body, from head to tail.

Metatarsal tubercle: one or more small (usually rounded) lumps at the base of the foot.

Metamorphlings: recently metamorphosed tadpoles, that is, very young frogs.

Mid-dorsal: referring to the middle of the dorsal (back) surface.

Pads/Discs: round flat endings to digits to aid in climbing. [see diagram].

Parotoid gland: a gland behind the ear and above the shoulder. [see diagram].

Pupil: aperture in the eye through which light enters.

Spawn: frog eggs, or the act of laying eggs (spawning / to spawn).

Submerged: beneath the surface.

Supratympanic fold: a fold of skin above or overhanging the tympanum.

Supratympanic ridge: a ridge of skin above or overhanging the tympanum. [see diagram].

Tadpole: larval stage of frogs. ("polliwogs" to citizens of USA).

Terrestrial: living on land.

Tibial gland: gland on lower leg. [see diagram].

Tympanum: eardrum. [see diagram].

Ventral: referring to the belly or lower surface.

Vestigial: remnant or relict of. (example: "vestigial webbing" is with only a trace of webbing).

Vocal sac: expandable sac beneath throat that serves to amplify male call. [see diagram].

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