Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Another Froggy Tale

I've known there were three or four different kinds of frogs living in my back yard for a long time. The most obvious were the motorbike frogs that I posted about a few days ago - and they are the most plentiful, too. It's not uncommon to see four or five sunning themselves on the edge of the lily pond.

Another is the green slender tree frog. These are very pretty creatures as you can see from this link and we find them occasionally in the grapevines or among the bananas - we have a small grove of these in the vegie garden. There used to be more before our back fence neighbours cleared their block completely and built a house that takes up almost the whole space but once we get some planting established along the fence we're hoping they'll return in greater numbers.

Then there is the moaning frog - very aptly named as you can tell from the recording which calls mostly when the first of the winter rain begins - but one has been a mystery. It's very vocal and going out into the garden on a Spring or summer evening is all but deafening what with a noisy and very loud mass cicada chorus (sorry, I couldn't find a recording of our local cicadas but believe me they are loud) interspersed with the mystery frog calling equally loudly.

It turns out that this mystery caller may be a quacking frog. It's sometimes called a quacking froglet - and if, like me, you thought a froglet was that stage immediately after a tadpole loses its tail and is a small immature adult you will be surprised to find out that its actual meaning is a frog species which doesn't go through the tadpole stage at all although apparently this frog is not a genuine froglet because it does in fact produce tiny tadpoles. Confused? So am I. Quacking frog habitat covers much of the South West but is limited on the Swan Coastal plain to some scattered wetlands and I suspect, that attracted by our ponds, it - as far as I can tell there's only one male calling - has come here from the wetlands that we have within a few minutes walk. Here's information about the quacking frog including a recording which certainly sounds like what we hear but since I've never seen it, I can't be absolutely sure.

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