Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The First Photograph of Another Species at my Property

Last night I went out to take some photos of the frogs on my Coles Creek property as they were extremely active last night. About 3 weeks ago the rocket frogs started calling again and last night they were in large numbers for the conditions. In a 150 m2  area close to the edge of the creek and dam there would have been approximately 120 Striped Rocket Frogs and on the opposite bank were about 20 Broad-palmed Rocket Frogs. Once the property starts to flood the Striped Rocket Frogs will number thousands  over the entire 45 acres and the Broad-palmed Rocket Frogs will reach many hundreds. The number last night is high for how dry the property is at present. Over the last several weeks as well I have seen massive numbers of the Wilcox's Frogs as well. Last night I spotted more than 60 without looking too hard. All, except for about 6 of the ones sighted were males.

While I was out taking photos I spotted a frog that I have seen many of, in my travels and I have photographed on several occasions. I have seen them on the property two times before but hadn't photographed them here. Last night I was lucky enough to see three of them and was able to photograph two of them!! They were the Ornate Burrowing Frogs. This keeps the number of species I have seen on my property at 26 species. I have now photographed 19 species at my property this year for this blog!

Two of the female Wilcox's Frogs that I saw were in amplexus.

A male and female Wilcox's Frog in amplexus

The same pair of frogs as above

The male is much smaller than the female and mainly yellow when breeding

The female is much larger and usually tan to grey in colour

The male can hold on even after the female jumps (which can be over 2 metres)

This is one of the many Striped Rocket Frogs that were seen. Getting a photo of them proved more difficult. As soon as I squatted near them, they jumped off or they were too difficult to photograph in amongst the reeds and plants.

Striped Rocket Frog

The same Striped Rocket Frog

This is a recording of the advertising call of the Striped Rocket Frog.

I was so surprised to see one of these Ornate Burrowing Frogs last night as they are not a common visitor here... or they are not seen regularly anyway. This species of frog can be highly variable in colour and skin texture even within the same location. The first few that I saw were nearly identical, except for their size.

Ornate Burrowing Frog

Ornate Burrowing Frog from above

Right side of the Ornate Burrowing Frog

Ornate Burrowing Frog from front on

Left side of the Ornate Burrowing Frog

The Ornate Burrowing Frog from directly above

The next few pictures are photographs of the second specimen of the Ornate Burrowing Frog that I saw a few minutes later.

The left side of the second Ornate Burrowing Frog

The right side of the second Ornate Burrowing Frog

The second Ornate Burrowing Frog again

I was surprised by how photogenic some of the Broad-palmed Rocket Frogs were, compared to the Striped Rocket Frogs. I didn't see any of them mixed in with the opposite species. They were both in their own groups on opposite banks. To hear them calling without seeing them I cannot tell the difference in their advertising call.

Broad-palmed Rocket Frog

Broad-palmed Rocket Frog close up

Right side of the Broad-palmed Rocket Frog

The same Broad-palmed Rocket Frog

This is a recording of the advertising call of the Broad-palmed Rocket Frog. Unfortunately you can hear a toad in the background. I'm sure that I won't hear it call out again though.

This is becoming a regular sight, with the male Wilcox's Frogs in amplexus with another species. At least this time it was a frog and not a toad. I wonder if this has to do with such a difference in numbers of males compared to females of this species or they just don't care!!

Wilcox's Frog in amplexus with a Striped Rocket Frog

A Wilcox's Frog in amplexus with a Striped Rocket Frog again

A few more photographs that I was able to get of another specimen of the Striped Rocket Frogs.

Striped Rocket Frog

This was a big female Striped Rocket Frog from above

Left side of the female Striped Rocket Frog

The next three photographs are all of the same frog. When I was taking the photos I thought it was another Ornate Burrowing Frog as I had already seen three prior to seeing this frog. I knew it looked different in colour and slightly larger as well, as soon as I saw it. I also know that they can be greatly different in colour in one small area too. I didn't realise until I downloaded the photos though that the pupils are very different in this specimen. In all the photos of Ornate Burrowing Frogs that I have taken and the ones I remember seeing they all have a pupil pattern the same as the first Ornate Burrowing Frog in this blog. As far as I knew this was one of the distinguishing features of this species. Too be honest I'm not absolutely certain what this frog is. I assume that it is an Ornate Burrowing Frog but I will have to check with the experts.

I have checked with Aaron, an expert in frogs, and he has confirmed that these are indeed Ornate Burrowing Frogs. The difference in the pupil is due to the pupil being dilated, which must be less common when photographing frogs. He has given another or better identification for Ornate Burrowing Frogs as well. He said that all specimens that he has come across have a distinct plain circular patch behind the eyes. This should be used as a key feature along with eyes and body shape to help identify this species.

You can check out Aaron's amazing frog photos, and other animals also by clicking on the link below.


A different colour variation of an Ornate Burrowing Frog

The same Ornate Burrowing Frog from above

The Ornate Burrowing Frog from above with the distinct circular patch

The Wilcox's Frog were very obvious in their breeding colours. It is great to see that their numbers have continued to increase on the property. They have also started to spread into other areas on the property.

Male Wilcox's Frog

The same Wilcox's Frog

Another male Wilcox's Frog

The same Wilcox's Frog from above

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


  1. This is a great post - we have a wide range of colourings in the Ornate Burrowing Frog on our property on the Darling Downs - it is interesting to see what patterns and colours are elsewhere in this little fat frog.

  2. Thanks for reading. I'm glad you like the information. I have seen so many different colour variations around the country while travelling but I was unaware that drastic colour variations can occur within a small area until the night I took these photos. The Ornate Burrowing Frogs are one of my favourite frogs. When we get some decent rain (or some rain) I will be able to get some more shots in the local area to share.