Every so often my “inner zoologist” needs to be indulged, so I thought I’d post a Frog Blog for a change. 🙂 I photographed this little fellow at the SOL Samhain Weekend Retreat (held at Otford in southern Sydney) that I attended a couple of weeks ago. Xavier found the froggy (I forgot to ask exactly where) and brought it out to show people. Below are the photos I took of the frog (one of them showing it on Foxy’s shoulder & in her hair) before it was carefully returned to its hiding spot in the garden. Naturally I had to try to identify the little beastie… turns out it’s probably a “Peron’s Tree Frog” – Litoria peroni – although it could possibly be a “Tyler’s Tree Frog” – Litoria tyleri – which looks very similar. It’s difficult to accurately identify it from the photos alone – even other online photos supposedly of the same species look very different to each other. But the various descriptions I’ve read seem to point more to this little fellow being a Peron’s rather than a Tyler’s tree frog, especially with the colouring under the thighs and arms which is only just visible in my photos.
Peron’s Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Litoria peroni
The general colour of the Peron’s tree frog is a mottled brown or grey with a bright yellow and black pattern in the groin and inner surfaces of the thigh and small green specks on the dorsal surfaces. This species can change colour in seconds depending on temperature, light exposure and moisture. The Peron’s tree frog is approximately 50mm in length.
Habitat: The Peron’s tree frog is found in many types of habitat, often a long distance from water. It remains undercover during the day, emerging on warm nights to forage and breed. It occurs from southern Queensland, south to eastern Victoria and west along the Murray River catchment. This species is also very common in suburban gardens and carries out a useful role in controlling insect pests.
Diet: Most frogs are known as generalized insectivores. This sounds technical but it really means that they will eat virtually any small insect or invertebrate that comes along. Peron’s tree frog is no exception to this rule, being stimulated to feed by the movement of any spider, beetle, fly, moth, etc.
Reproduction: Peron’s tree frog is almost indistinguishable from a close relative, Tyler’s tree frog (Litoria tyleri). If they look so similar how do the frogs know which ones to breed with? This is achieved by each species of frog producing a distinctive call that is specific to that type of frog. Peron’s tree frog has a loud machine gun rattle-like call, whereas Tyler’s tree frog has a more high-pitched cackle. This was also the method that zoologists first used to tell these two species apart.