Australia is home to so many different varieties of frogs. A lot of them live in your very own backyard! Frogs are a nimble amphibian, which means that they are cold blooded vertebrate with smooth skin. They can climb trees, jump across the ground, or even leap through the air to catch an insect in mid-flight. Now let’s take a look at some of the frogs found around the Melbourne region!
Growling Grass Frog
One of the largest species of frog in Australia, the Growling Grass Frog prefers living among aquatic vegetation near slow-moving streams, swamps, or ponds. Living in these areas gives them ample opportunity to dine on insects like beetles, cockroaches, butterflies, moths, and termites that live in the area. Although they are not active hunters, if a lizard, snake, fish, or even another frog came their way, a hungry Growling Grass Frog might eat those animals, too! Male frogs of this species communicate with females with a combination of short grunts and long, deep growls.
Southern Brown Tree Frog
The Southern Brown Tree Frog is small in size and while they prefer flooded grasslands or marshes for breeding, by the time they are adults they are found everywhere – even in suburban backyards! These small amphibians are light brown with pale fawn, cream, orange, or light brown sides. As a way to communicate, these frogs use a series of harsh, whirring noises that sound like varying lengths of “creee”. If you hear this sound, then it is likely that you have a Southern Brown Tree Frog in your backyard!
Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog
The Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog looks like it hopped right out of a rainforest into your backyard! This small, robust amphibian has smooth, green skin with a lighter, almost white underside. The backs of the frog’s thighs are orange while a bronze stripe runs along the side of its face, from its nostril to its eyes. The feet of the Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog have smaller webbing than other species, and its toes end in sticky discs that help it climb. These frogs communicate both day and night with a series of “wreek” and “pip” sounds.
Striped & Spotted Marsh Frogs
Both the Striped and the Spotted Marsh Frog is typically found near locations with water. While the Striped Marsh Frog prefers wetlands and permanent water shelters along reed banks, his striped cousin spends dry periods in cracks within the ground beneath large rocks to prevent overheating and drying out. If you want to know if these amphibians live in your backyard, listen out for the Striped Marsh Frog’s “tock” which sounds like a hen’s clucking, or the Spotted Marsh Frog’s staccato “kuk-kuk-kuk” sound.
Eastern Banjo Frog
If you have an Eastern Banjo Frog in your backyard, then it may be hard to tell as this species prefers burrowing during the day and come out at night – especially after it rains. Adults are a dark greenish-brown colour with orange down both sides and orange dots along their backs. The Eastern Banjo Frog is also sometimes referred to as the Pobblebonk Frog due to the unique sound that it makes. The call of this amphibian is a short, musical note that produces a resonant “bonk” noise. Some Eastern Banjo Frogs can produce a series of several “bonk” sounds within a single second!
These are just a few of the 11 frogs that are known to populate the Melbourne region of Australia. There could even be more! The next time you are at a Reptile Encounters program, we would love to hear what frogs are in your backyard, and to answer all of your questions about frogs, or any other animal.