February 07, 2014 12:15
in Wildlife by Nea ::
Northern Banjo Frog or Scarlet-sided Pobblebonk (Limnodynastes terraeregina)
Tracey was destined to bump into this common, but infrequently seen ground-dwelling burrowing frog during recent gardening work as she prepared the permacuture garden for summer crops.
The Northern Banjo Frog can be found right up the east coast of Australia from the NSW border to the tip of Cape York. But perhaps the initial resemblance to the warty Cane Toad limits further interest for most people. But it has a unique flash of scarlet markings on the groin and thigh that are not obvious until the frog moves. The similar Eastern Banjo Frog is also found at Mt Barney, but does not have the scarlet flashes of colour. As this frog relies on camouflage for most of its protection, it mostly just sits around looking toad-like!!
On closer inspection, the chunky muscular build, longer back toes and popout eyes look quite different as well. It was brown on our discovery, but can be a dull grey, and can be white to faint yellow on the undersurface. Their size can be between 50-75mm in length.
As it is a burrowing species it can spend time long periods underground during dry periods. Males make a high pitched short “dunk” or "bonk" call from concealed positions in water after heavy rains from October to May. The sound recording of can be found here (just ignore the background cricket-like noise)
The eggs are laid in a white foam nest on the surface of the water and are partially covered by overhanging plants or leaf litter.
Field Guide to the Frogs of Australia - Michael Tyler and Frank Knight
Amphibiaweb - www.amphibiaweb.org