Saturday, February 16, 2013

Frogs of Coles Creek

With all the rain around the last few weeks, frogs have been out in large numbers on the property once again. Due to the constant showers I was unable to get as many photos as I had hoped. This is just a few of the species that were found around the property tonight.

Some of the frogs can be found over the entire property while others have very particular habitats, so are only found in small pockets on the property. The majority of the property seems very similar around the dams and the creeks, but once you observe the habits of the frogs you can see why the small differences in habitat make a big difference to them.

I easily spotted a few hundred Striped Marsh Frogs. The are mainly found on the front section of the property where the creek overflows. Many of them were heard calling from small burrows in the ground about 20 cm deep. Many of these had foam masses of eggs within them.


Striped Marsh Frog
Striped Marsh Frog

A Striped Marsh Frog calling from down one of the burrows

The Red Tree Frogs or Desert Tree Frogs are found mainly around the house and in the mowed area of the lawn, approximately 6 acres. They regularly lay eggs in the ponds that are around the house. The Bleating Tree Frogs or Keferstein's Tree Frogs are found in the same area of the property also, and both these species are very similar in appearance around this area. I sometimes have difficulties telling them apart even, unless I hear them calling.

Keferstein's Tree Frog on the front lawn

Anyone that knows me, knows that I'm not a huge fan of spiders. In fact spiders like this one really put the breeze up me. There were hundreds of these out tonight, as there are most nights. I'm always looking out for them along the edge of tree lines to ensure I don't have one drop on me if I walk through their web.

Garden Orb-weaver

The Peron's Tree Frogs or Emerald Spotted Tree Frogs are found in a few small sections of the property. Tonight there were about 25 or so in the main area. This is the most I have seen in one place since I have lived here. I love their advertisement call. Very distinctive and easily heard from a long distance so they can be located quite easily. Tonight they were all quite low in the trees, about 2 - 3 meters up, which made it possible to obtain a few good snaps.

A Peron's Tree Frog calling out

A Peron's Tree Frog from above showing the distinctive skin colour

Peron's Tree Frogs have a distinctive eye pattern also

The yellow and black pattern on the inner thigh also helps identify the Peron's Tree Frog

Eastern Dwarf Tree Frogs can be found in large numbers across the entire property. There would easily be thousands of them here at present. They are one of the two most common frogs on the property and can be heard most of the year.

Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog

Just over 3 weeks ago the property was extremely dry. All the creeks had dried up and only one dam had a small amount of water left. The night that it started raining the frogs were calling out from all corners of the property. The following day it flooded over the whole property (45 acres) except for about 4 acres around the house pad. After this happens water stays in the front paddocks for several weeks with no follow up rain, and up to several months if it keeps raining. This froglet must have been from the first eggs that were laid after the rain 3 weeks ago. A quick development.

A froglet that has just emerged from the water: either a Dainty Tree Frog or Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog

This is the other frog that is found on the property in huge numbers. The Rocket Frogs easily reach thousands in number also. Some nights the noise is deafening. They are common across the whole property, especially in the open paddocks where there is lots of grass. They are less common in the dense bushland and the short grass around the house itself.

One of the many Striped Rocket Frogs

Posts will be put up regularly during the summer months while the frogs are active.

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