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Monday, 18 Dec 2017

Frogs of Roleystone

The southwest of Western Australia is a particularly rich area for frogs, and there are a total of thirty known species that inhabit the region. There are many different zones within this area and each has a different assemblage of species. The frogs around Roleystone can be found throughout the Darling Ranges, and we are very fortunate to have around fourteen different species that live in and around our suburb. 

quacking_frog_common_around_roley_pool_lrgQuacking Frog found often around Roley Pool Slender Tree Frog photographed at Boulder RockSlender Tree Frog photographed at Boulder Rock

 

 motorbike frog from roleystone frogpoolMotorbike Frog  frog_1Motorbike Frog

 

The frogs living in Roleystone range in size from the large Motorbike Frog, to the tiny members of the Crinia genus which often do not grow more than 20mm. We also have a species of tree frog (the Slender Tree Frog).

 Around the Darling range there is an unusually high number of large, burrowing frogs (about 6).

 A full list with the maximum size is below:

Banjo Frog (75mm)
Bleating Froglet (25mm)
Clicking Froglet (20mm)
Crawling Frog (35mm)
Hooting Frog (90mm)
Humming Frog (45mm)
Moaning Frog (65mm)
Motorbike Frog (75mm)
Quacking Frog (40mm)
Sand Frog (60mm)
Slender Tree Frog (45mm)
Ticking Frog (25mm)
Western Spotted Frog (75mm)
Whooping Frog (65mm)

Within each species there is a diverse range of colors and patterns making them sometime hard to tell apart, but each frog has quite a distinctive call that many people will probably recognize. In fact their calls are so distinctive that most of the common names are based on their call.

The WA Museum has an excellent website called  Frog Watch that features the Darling Range Frogs where you can hear all the different species. Even without having seen the frogs it is surprising how many calls you will find familiar.

All species are quite vocal during the spawning (egg laying) time which varies from species to species but can occur throughout the entire year, depending on rains.

Around now (Autumn) there are about 7 different species calling Roleystone and good places to hear them are along the Canning River (eg Roley Pool Reserve) and small tributaries and springs.

Threats to our local frogs include loss of habitat, pesticide pollution, reduced water flows, and a frog fungus that was introduced to WA in 1985 and is responsible for multiple frog extinctions around the world.

Visit the Frogwatch website at  http://museum.wa.gov.au/explore/frogwatch and learn more about the killer frog fungus and see lots of different photos of our local frogs. 

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