Come the end of the dry season, when the humidity starts to return, so it becomes a signal for frogs.
A rising humidity level and those beautiful early storms are a signal to frogs that 'life springs eternal' and that it's time to shake off the dry season torpor and start to think seriously about the important things in life once again.
When we think of garden frogs we imagine fat bellied Green Tree Frogs peering down from a rafter, or pale leggy Roth's Tree Frogs, balancing with vibrantly patterned legs outstretched. It's important to remember that not all of our frogs are athletic and beautiful climbers. Indeed many of our more interesting amphibians are brown and warty looking and quite unglamorous indeed.
Peter's Frog, or the Bumpy Rocket Frog, is found across in Northern Australia. It grows to around three and a half centimetres and has long legs. It likes to lay its eggs in sandy temporary pools with little in the way of water weed. Like many of our native frogs, Peter's Frog has a rather sweet face, with bulgy eyes and a pointy nose. It also has grey-brown colouring and rough bumpy skin with no real patterning and it is this description that can lead to its downfall.
Many of our native frogs are brown and warty looking. You will find more of them hopping around on the ground or lurking in among the leaf litter than climbing the fence or living in the trees. Unfortunately there is another amphibian that is not so well liked that is also a ground dwelling, warty looking critter.
Cane Toads have bumpy grey-brown skin and move in rapid hops across the ground. As an adult, they are almost unmistakeable. They are much larger than many of our native frogs. They also tend to 'sit up tall' and their faces have heavy brow ridges forming a frown above a stern looking mouth. Young Cane Toads have similar colouring to several of our native frogs which can unfortunately lead to cases of misidentification and a sad ending.
Brush up on your identification skills this build up; our frogs need all the help they can get and in the dark a big frog can easily look like a small toad. Before you pick it up make sure that your critter is truly a garden goblin, not a backyard buddy.
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