Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have amphibians from reader Chris Taylor from Oz.  Chris’s captions and notes are indented.

Every year in October, there is a frog census in Canberra and the surrounding areas of New South Wales.  I’ve been doing this for six years, monitoring sites at home and also on the Bush Heritage Australia reserve at Scottsdale.  And recently I did a talk for BHA about the census projects, so dug out some photos of to use for the presentation.

The photos are:

Spotted Grass Frog, Limnodynastes tasmaniensis.

Green and Gold Bell Frog, Litoria aurea.

Whistling Tree Frog, Litoria verreauxii.

Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog, Litoria fallax.

Peron’s Tree Frog, Litoria peronii (three photos).

European Common Frog, Rana temporaria.

Smooth Toadlet, Uperolia laevigata.

 

Four of these species (Lim. tasmaniensis, Lit. Peronii, Lit. verreauxii, U. laevigata) are among the eight frog species that I’ve recorded on my farm and also at Scottsdale.

Lit. fallax and Lit. aurea were taken in Sydney, before we moved to our current home. The last one is of Rana temporaria which was taken in England – and I still can’t quite believe that there are twice as many species in my place than there are in the whole of Great Britain!

The ACT and Region FrogWatch Program (FrogWatch) has been run by the Ginninderra Catchment Group since 2002. FrogWatch engages citizen scientists of all ages and walks of lives to monitor, restore and protect local frog habitat, and to raise awareness for and educate about the range of threats these wonderful creatures face globally and locally. The program covers the ACT and its surrounding NSW region from Cooma in the south to Gundaroo in the north and from the Cotter River in the west to Captains Flat in the east (this is from the FrogWatch website.)

12 Comments

  1. rickflick
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Well seen amphibians. Number 6 looks like Kermit. 😎

  2. Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Very good. I really like the Peron’s tree frog. Pretty intense eyes!

  3. Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Beautiful frogs! Thanks for the photos!

  4. Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    As a Saffer, I like the Green and Gold Bell Frog

  5. boudiccadylis
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    what made the color/texture change on the Perons tree frog? Nice pictures.

    • Chris Taylor
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      The species is quite variable in colour and I have seen them range from pale fawn to a dark grey, though all have the yellow and black patches on the hind legs. The individual in two of the photos is also rather larger and smoother than most.

  6. Mark R.
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed these…ribbit. Thanks for the info on FrogWatch. What a great organization.

  7. Glenda Palmer
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Great photos, thanks for sharing. Love frogs.

  8. grasshopper
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Frogs, starlings, and coincidences   …

    In the late ’90s, I had occasion as a tradesman to traverse most of the rooms of the premises of a house in the suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria. Everywhere in the house there were bookshelves, brimming with books about frogs, and evolution. In a “D’oh” moment I asked the householder if he had published on frogs himself, and he pulled out a copy of ‘Frogwatch – Field Guide to Victorian Frogs’, co-authored by Jean-Marc Hero, Murray Littlejohn and Gerry Marantelli, a book I had in my own collection.

    Here is some of what https://frogsvic.org/our-patron/ has to say about Murray Littlejohn.

      Murray Littlejohn’s name has been at the forefront of frog research in Australia since he began his career in evolutionary biology in the 1950s. Murray is a pioneer in the application of audio recording to the study of sound communication in animals or bio-acoustics.

      Murray’s model system is acoustic communication in frogs, using species that occur in temperate Australia and the southern United States. His approach to research has been mainly through field studies, both observational and experimental, particularly in the development and application of methods of recording, analysis and description of acoustic signals, and field playback experiments directed at understanding the role of acoustic signals in mate choice by females and territorial behavior of males. In addition to numerous primary research publications in Australian and international journals, he has written or co-authored 22 chapters that were published in symposium volumes or books. These chapters deal with the broader aspects of acoustic communication, speciation processes, species concepts, hybrid zones, and zoogeography. He has also co-authored field guides to the frogs of Victoria and Tasmania.

      Murray’s achievements are widely recognized, especially in the United States. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (elected 1968), an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Society of Ichthyology and Herpetology (elected 1977), and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Victoria (elected 2005). He was the foundation President of The Australian Society of Herpetologists (1965-69) and was made an Honorary Member in 1982. He was President of the Ecological Society of Australia (1989-90), President of the Second World Congress of Herpetology (1993-94) and was a member of the International Herpetological Committee for the first three congresses, and a Vice-President of the Society for the Study of Evolution (1969). He also received Fulbright Travel Grants on two occasions (1958-58 and 1966), and was a Visiting Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in May-June 1977. Murray received an Award of Excellence from the Australasian Sound Recording Association in 2010. An international symposium in his honour, entitled “Evolutionary Diversification: Insights from Studies of Geographical Variation and Hybridisation,” was held at the University of Missouri-Columbia in June 1999.

    At home that evening I (randomly?) selected a book to read entitled ‘On Evolution’. It was from a second-hand bookstore in Carlton, not far from Melbourne University. Inside the book was a publisher’s slip addressed to one Professor Murray Littlejohn, Department of Zoology, asking for his opinions on the publication.

    Later, I related this coincidence to my father, and he provided another. My father had done work in the early 1960s on recording the distress calls of starlings, with a view to broadcasting the cries across stone-fruit orchards and discouraging the birds from ruining fruit.

    ‘Murray Littlejohn’ said my father. ‘I knew him. I walked into the University off the street and asked to see the best person who could advise me on how to record starling calls, and was referred to Professor Littlejohn.’

    Incidentally, it turns out that starlings have dialects, and broadcast distress calls which worked in one area  were less effectual in others.

  9. Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful frogs. I love me a frog and cricket band at night. But at my home I usually have to settle for just crickets.

  10. tjeales
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    wonderful. frogs are one of my favourite groups of chordates

  11. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I’ve had frogs breaking out from under my feet all weekend on the hills. Despite some severely dry (by Scottish standards) weather – the wet-skinned ones seem to be doing fine.
    They’re too fast and well-camouflaged to have got a photo though. But that reminds me – one for PCC(E)’s Caturday tank, perhaps.


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