Frogs in Melton

whistlingtreefrog1Whistling Treefrog in Melton South (photo by Richard Akers)

Common Froglet (Crinia signifera)
The Common Froglet is by far our commonest frog. Its cricket-like “creek creek creek” is heard all year round & almost anywhere there is water, with vegetation cover. However, it is not heard in new, artificial wetlands with muddy water, bare rock walls & no vegetation. Common Froglets can be calling from anywhere in Melton that has water, easily recognised by their calls. Despite their small size (2 cm) their call is quite loud. As these photographs taken locally show, individual froglets show an almost infinite variation in their colouration, although the basic pattern remains quite similar. They also appear to be absent from isolated wetlands that have been dry for very long periods, like the remnant wetlands around Rockbank. Froglets lay their eggs singly, attached to aquatic vegetation.

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crinia signifera orange

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Froglet eggs in pond in Melton South

Pobblebonk (Limnodynastes dumerilli)
The resonant “bonk” of the Pobblebonk (also called Banjo Frog) is possibly our most unmistakable frog call. Its musical banjo-like call is heard in most of our creeks, most usually with heavy natural vegetation cover, trees & less murky water. They are heard calling in the warmer months. As the weather grows warmer their musical calls became more widespread. They are are quick to colonise newly constructed man-made wetlands, in new residential developments. These frogs retreat into the ground in dry weather & they are often dug up in gardens.

pobblebonk beneath tile Bushs paddockoctober 2009

pobblebonks spawning Armolds Creek

Pobblebonks spawning in Arnolds Creek

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Pobblebonk eggs in Melton South

Spotted Marsh Frogs (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis)
Spotted Marsh Frog photographed by Lyn Holdsworth in Toolern Creek.
The distinctive “tic” of the Spotted Marsh Frog is heard in many wetlands around Melton. These are heard in open, grassy or rocky ponds, often new, manmade & muddy, with little or no vegetation cover. They can be heard in the remnant red Gum / lignum wetlands around Rockbank, as well as the artificial wetlands at Botanica Springs & Kurunjang (Rain Lover Drive near Little Blind Creek)

They are heard in isolated locations like the lignum swamp in Paynes Rd South (where they can be heard from the road after rain). Spotted Marsh Frogs can also be heard in the Bush’s Paddock dam (on the rare occasions that it has water). They are the only frogs here. They can also be heard in the ‘Sheepwash’ in Mt Cottrell Road near Bush’s Paddock. They are also found in the dam at Upper Pinkerton Forest. They are often heard where no other frog species are heard. A significant proportion of Spotted Marsh Frogs in the Melton area have a “rapid fire” call, a series of 4-5 “tics”, as heard in northern & central Victoria, rather than the single ‘tic’ usually heard in Melton (& in the rest of southern Victoria). Similar calls were heard at artificial wetlands at Kurunjang & Botanica Springs. The line of demarcation between the two populations of marsh frogs may not be as strictly defined as existing records may suggest.

Whistling Treefrog (Litoria Verreauxii)
Photos by Richard Akers
The Whistling Treefrog is a small frog, about the size of a Spotted Marsh Frog. It makes up for this small size by its extraordinarily loud whistling call that can easily be mistaken for a bird call. These treefrogs live in a few wetlands in Melton South; where narrow gullies have been dammed to form small deep dams. No trees to be seen! Their loud whistling calls can be heard echoing across the paddocks at night from two similar dams, both north & south of Brooklyn Road. Single treefrogs have also been heard calling occasionally from permanent pools in Arnolds Creek & Little Blind Creek.

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Spotted Marsh Frogs (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis)
Spotted Marsh Frog photographed by Lyn Holdsworth in Toolern Creek.
The distinctive “tic” of the Spotted Marsh Frog is heard in many wetlands around Melton. These are heard in open, grassy or rocky ponds, often new, manmade & muddy, with little or no vegetation cover. They can be heard in the remnant red Gum / lignum wetlands around Rockbank, as well as the artificial wetlands at Botanica Springs & Kurunjang (Rain Lover Drive near Little Blind Creek)

They are heard in isolated locations like the lignum swamp in Paynes Rd South (where they can be heard from the road after rain). Spotted Marsh Frogs can also be heard in the Bush’s Paddock dam (on the rare occasions that it has water). They are the only frogs here. They can also be heard in the ‘Sheepwash’ in Mt Cottrell Road near Bush’s Paddock. They are also found in the dam at Upper Pinkerton Forest. They are often heard where no other frog species are heard. A significant proportion of Spotted Marsh Frogs in the Melton area have a “rapid fire” call, a series of 4-5 “tics”, as heard in northern & central Victoria, rather than the single ‘tic’ usually heard in Melton (& in the rest of southern Victoria). Similar calls were heard at artificial wetlands at Kurunjang & Botanica Springs. The line of demarcation between the two populations of marsh frogs may not be as strictly defined as existing records may suggest.

Spadefoot Toads (Neobatrachus sudelli)
Photos by Richard Akers
We have a species of frog that has been recorded in the frog census in only a few places in the greater Melbourne area. This is the Spadefoot Toad (not a toad but actually a burrowing frog). These frogs avoid drought conditions by lying buried beneath the ground (up to a metre deep in harsh conditions, but usually about 10cm, as per Melbourne Water advice). Heavy rains bring them to the surface. Their soft purring calls among the flooded reeds should be familiar with those living in Hume Ave & beyond. Their vertical eye pupils are a distinctive feature. The Melbourne Water Frog Census has recorded these only at Melton, Sunbury & Pattersons Lakes in the greater Melbourne region. So far they have been recorded in two Melton South wetlands, (Rees Road Wetland & Frpg Hollow in Botanica Springs) close to Arnolds Creek. Hopefully the small wetland in Rees Road will be preserved to protect these unusual frogs. One was also heard calling from a paddock adjacent to Upper Pinkerton Forest. However, occasional calls have been heard from across the paddocks after rain, so there may be some in other sites nearby where they may be found. These are only heard at night. Other likely local wetlands such as lignum swamps, isolated dams & wetlands have been visited, but no other populations have been located to date. These two populations make Melton almost unique in being the home of these unusual frogs. Spadefoot Toads are considered Regionally Significant in the greater Melbourne area. It makes a valuable addition to Melton’s biodiversity.

Photo Richard Akers

Spadefoot closeup rees rd wetland

Spadefoot Toads in Melton South (photos by Richard Akers)

Perons Treefrog  (Litoria peroni)

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The Perons Treefrog has only been heard in one wetland in Melton Valley Golf Course. They are more commonly heard in northern Victoria. Their loud cackling call is distinctive, hence their alternative name of Cackling Treefrog. On a warm summer night their loud cackling calls can often be heard from the adjacent road, over the sound of passing vehicles. When caught they sometimes make a loud & disturbingly baby-like cry, especially when caught by a cat.

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2 responses to “Frogs in Melton

  1. This is a great reference and the photos are helpful for identifying frogs on my property in Kurunjang. I’ve been very happy to discover at least 6 Pobblebonks and a Peron’s tree frog in the last 3 years. I had a young frog on my kitchen window last night. Good photo but can’t tell what type it is as its of its belly. Is there someone who can help identify frogs as a friend also found one last night that turned up in his garage due to all the rain.

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