Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Strange Time of Year to be Out

This week I have seen several frog species out on the property that I normally only see during late Spring, Summer and early April. Also over the last week many moths, bugs and other small insects have been out around the lights. I can't remember ever seeing so many insects out at night in the middle of Winter. Three nights ago the amount of insects around the veranda lights looked like a bad night for insects during summer. Anyway back to the frogs.

Three nights ago I heard several Tyler's Tree Frogs calling out but I wasn't feeling too well so I didn't go down into the paddock to look for them to photograph. I was very surprised to hear them at this time of year but I wasn't too sure about their habits on my property as earlier this year was the first time that I have heard them here. The following night I didn't hear any calling out but I did hear numerous Peron's Tree Frogs calling out from the general area where they are found during the wet season as well as many Eastern Dwarf Tree Frogs calling out near the dam. Also hundreds of Eastern Sign-bearing Froglets could be heard from all directions.

Last night I was feeling a lot better so I went down with the camera to get some shots. The Peron's Tree Frogs were out in good numbers again. I found that they have moved about 80m from their Summer area as that creek has dried up. The new place is near a shallow waterhole that holds water until mid Spring. The photos are only of two different specimens as the other six or so that I could see were too high in the tree to photograph. I didn't hear the Tyler's Tree Frogs again last night. The Northern Dwarf Tree Frogs were only calling out for a short time after dark and then they stopped calling so I missed getting photos of them.

Peron's Tree Frog from behind

Peron's Tree Frog

Peron's Tree Frog or Emerald Spotted Tree Frog

Left side view of the Peron's Tree Frog

Right side view of the Peron's Tree Frog

Male Peron's Tree Frog calling

Partially inflated air sac of the Peron's Tree Frog

Fully inflated air sac of the Peron's Tree Frog while calling

This is a recording of some of the Peron's Tree Frogs calling out on the property. Throughout the whole recording you can also hear many Eastern Sign-bearing Froglets calling out.

After getting some good shots of the Peron's Tree Frog I thought I might try and find the other froglet. I have looked for them before but have failed to find them. Last night I was very lucky to find a few very easily. The Eastern Sign-bearing Froglets could be heard all around. I haven't ever identified them for certain on the property but I hear them constantly all year round. This year they seem to be in particularly large numbers. I went to where the water was very shallow and the ground had less cover so they would be easier to find. They are small in size (about 1.5cm long), and they usually like to sit partially submerged in the water at the base of grass, which makes them even more difficult to see, as well as their camouflage. I found one nearly instantly, then I found one jumping out in the open chasing a small bug and another jumping out from beneath my feet at the edge of the water.

This takes the total number of species of frogs seen on my property now to 26 in the last 3 years and 17 of those have been photographed for the blog this year! I must apologise for adding an extra species of frog that I had recorded on the property in a few of the last blogs. I had recorded one species incorrectly in my records. I just noticed that one list had 26 and the other had 27. After checking both lists I can say that there are 26 that have definitely been seen on the property.

Eastern Sign-bearing Froglet

The second Eastern Sign-bearing Froglet sighted

An Eastern Sign-bearing Froglet having dinner

This Eastern Sign-bearing Froglet bit off more than it could chew

The third Eastern Sign-bearing Froglet

Eastern Sign-bearing Froglet from the left side

Eastern Sign-bearing Froglet

Eastern Sign-bearing Froglet from above

This is a recording of some of the Eastern Sign-bearing Froglets calling out on the property.

As I was taking the last photos of the Eastern Sign-bearing Froglets I heard very low, deep sound that I have heard before. You had to listen very carefully to be able to hear it. I jumped up excitedly when I remembered where I had heard it. It was the sound that I thought the Wilcox's Frog was making a few months ago. I didn't think to look or even consider that I would find them even though I was in the very small area where they are located between the two dams. Tonight it was much clearer than last time, as more frogs were making the sound.

After hearing the call I looked around to see if I could even see any of the Wilcox's Frogs. Much to my surprise I saw at least 15 on the one side of the bank closest to me. The noise stopped again so I wasn't certain if it was them. Over the next 30 minutes I pin pointed a couple of the Wilcox's Frogs and listened and waited. A few times they began to call but each time my camera went to take the photo the light made them stop calling. I managed to get a recording of their call which quite clear and several photos but I need to get a video of it if possible, but I don't have one!

The first Wilcox's Frog that was sighted

Wilcox's Frog

An attempt to capture the Wilcox's Frog calling

In any of my frog books (which are recently published) that I have, it says that no call is recorded or it is unknown for this species and any Internet site that I look on has the call for the Wilcox's Frog the same as Lesueur's Frog or Stony Creek Frog. Often they are still called the same frog, which is not the case any more. A while ago I know they were classified as the same species. The calls that I recorded for them are quite different to the Lesueur's Frog calls that I can find online. After speaking with a few frog experts over the last few days I have found that their call is known and has been recorded but possibly not that common, especially online, due to how audible the call is.

This is the recording of the Wilcox's Frog calling on my property at Coles Creek. The Eastern Sign-bearing Froglets are calling out throughout the recording also. This is at least four of the Wilcox's Frogs calling out at the same time. It is the faint rumbling/gurgling sound in the background that can be heard for the entire recording.

More pics and updates when more frogs are photographed and recorded.


  1. Wilcox's and Lesueur's Frogs were until recently the same species and I believe they have very similar calls. It is a very soft call, hard to hear and usually drowned out by the sound of running water.

  2. Thanks Greg. I've added the call onto the blog now from the recording I took the other night. I didn't want to add it until I new for certain that it was known.