Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Two Vulnerable Frogs for the Sunshine Coast

Last night a friend that told me that they had heard a Northern Banjo Frog calling out at Pomona during the day. I thought that this could be a good opportunity to obtain a few better photos of this species from this area. I have seen them many times before, but usually in northern New South Wales. I have seen them on my property at Coles Creek also but I haven't seen or heard them often when out and about around the Sunshine Coast.

I made my way to the location at Pomona but was unable to hear any of the Northern Banjo Frogs. As soon as I arrived though I could hear 3 other types of frogs. Two of them I could identify easily as soon as I heard them. The first frogs that were heard were many Eastern Dwarf Tree Frogs, possibly 50 or more and the second was several Giant Barred Frogs. The other call I knew was familiar but I couldn't put my finger on it for a few minutes. I knew that it was a common call at my property during the summer. After listening to it for a short period I realised that they were Tusked Frogs calling out.

Firstly we honed in on a Tusked Frog calling out to obtain a clear recording. We located this Tusked Frog very easily under a small log. We lifted the log to obtain a few photos and placed the log back once we had finished. Within a few minutes he was calling again. Tusked frogs can be identified easily by their distinctive call. The belly of Tusked Frogs is marbled black and white and the thighs are marbled red and black. These markings along with the eye patterning can identify this frog apart from others in the same area. Also male Tusked frogs often have unusually large heads compared to the rest of their body.

Tusked Frog

Male Tusked Frog

Tusked Frog from the left side

The eye pattern of the Tusked Frog is helpful in identification

Tusked Frog from above

This is a recording of a Tusked Frog calling out from beneath a log, sitting in the water at Pomona. This advertisement call can go on for quite a while and can end with a second part to the call. I stopped recording before this happened due to traffic noise and barking dogs.

By the time we had finished photographing the Tusked Frogs the Giant Barred frogs had just about finished calling. We heard one call a few times and we made our way to the general area and we spotted him. We waited for quite a while for him to call again but it didn't happen. As a result I missed obtaining a recording of them.

This Giant Barred Frog was sitting on the edge of a very steep bank about 2 or 3 meters out of the water. This is often where Giant Barred and Great Barred Frogs are found on steeper creek banks like this. You are more likely to find them on steep banks compared to flat banks on a creek. These frogs have a few obvious distinguishing features. The first is their size. They are a large frog and as far as I know they are the second biggest in Australia.

Their back has spots/patterns in varying size that are darker in colour to the brown body colour. There is a dark triangle shape on either side of the nostrils.  The eye is the most obvious feature though. Their eye is a golden colour, which is lighter on the top half, compared to the lower half of the eye. There is also a dark stripe  that travels along the snout, through the eye and comes down behind the "ear" of the frog. Barring is also obvious on the legs.

Giant Barred Frog

Giant Barred Frog from above

The same Giant Barred Frog
I didn't find the Northern Banjo Frogs that I went to look for but I was pleased that I got to see two of our vulnerable frog species on the Sunshine Coast. I knew the Giant Barred Frogs were at this location but I was unaware that the Tusked Frogs were also here. I have not heard them on any occasion that I have been here before.

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


  1. Little bit envious of all the frog life you've seen lately. I haven't been able to get out that much cause of my own wallum frog monitoring I've gotta do. I was very fortunate though on Wednesday night to spot a pair of frog eyes belonging to the northern banjo frog (AKA scarlet-sided Pobblebonk). Got some alright pics that I'll post soon.

  2. Nice find. I was hoping to see one the other night too but no luck. I would actually enjoy coming out with you one of these nights to help you with the Wallum Frog monitoring too. I haven't seen them before so I would love to get a photo.