Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, March 07, 2011

The elusive Bleating Tree Frog

My brother Brendan found this little frog on my side deck, when removing some spare building materials. The frog was using them for cover.
Bleating Tree Frog
It was a wet morning, and so the frog was wet and it looked darker than most Frogs I had found. Certainly darker than Peron's Tree Frog.
It also as very small, but that might have just been a factor of its age and possible immaturity.
Frog size against measure of deck. (Click to enlarge)
Anyway, after posing for a few shots - on the deck, and then having been briefly captured for an underneath shot (looking for any distinctive markings it might have) I released it happily into the damp shrubbery a mere 5 metres away from where we first met it.

But what is it?

Clearly it is a Tree Frog, from the enlarged pads on the toes.
Seen through a glass in which I was holding it temporarily.
4 large toe pads on front feet

It has a red mark above the eye. But few other distinguishing features.
red markings over eyes.
Strangely, this Frog turned out to be the very first Frog I learnt about when I moved to Robertson - but only by its call. It is the Bleating Tree Frog  (Litoria dentata). I remember one of them living under a trailer, and it called incessantly. Lucy also has had them living in the gutters on her house. But I had never seen one - up close and personal.

It sounds exactly like a tiny Lamb, trapped down a hole (hence the name). If you don't "buy" that explanation, then one will think it is some form of insect. Certainly it does not sound like most "Froggie" noises.
5 toes visible on rear foot
I notice the fact that my frog has 4 toes on the front foot, and 5 on the hind foot. According to an old anatomical sketch, shown on Wikipedia, in fact a classic frog skeleton has a rudimentary toe on each front and rear foot. In other words, 5 toes on the front foot and 6 on the rear foot, but the extra toes are so small as to be barely visible in the flesh.


mick said...

That's an interesting frog, Denis, and great photos showing its identifying features. I wonder what interesting things I would find if I moved a lot of things in my garden and around my house!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
Thanks. Well, there's always the chance of a nasty surprise!
In this case, it was a cute frog.
I put it in a glass to protect it, but allow the underneath shots (very grainy, but served the purpose).
I was happy to release it into the nearby bushes. once I'd taken my images.

Anonymous said...

This is a sad, sad little creature. I am sure that if you were called "Bleating" for the whole of your life you would become sad too. Lambs at least outgrow the tag as they mature. "Bleating" is a cruel name and probably explains the poor creature's red eyes. Surely there are rules against such vilification. Brendan

Denis Wilson said...

Not a sad creature, just one which sounds sad to us.
No doubt the males sound very attractive to the girl frogs!
I'm glad you made the comment, though, as you put it better than I would have done, if I had reported on your behalf.
To others, Brendan told me, at the time, that he felt the name was very unkind to to his little frog.

Keith said...

Some good images. As I have said before, I love frogs.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Le Loup
Frog-lovers are always welcome here.

Sue Catmint said...

fascinating - great identification.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Catmint.
I love Frogs, but don't know much about them.
Fortunately, there are some good sites, where experts have shared their knowledge.
Met a friend at the Robbo Show today who told me he tracked down an ID for a Striped Marsh Frog from my blog and the links to Frog sites in the side bar.

Anne said...

Does anyonehave a recording of the bleting frog's call? I think we might have some of them around our rainforest block on the escarpment south of Berry - one seems to live in the house gutter, and last week in the heavy rain a number of them called all night for 2 nights incessantlym- we assumed they were cicadas, but maybe they're these amazing frogs?

Denis Wilson said...

"The Bleating Tree Frog sounds more like a cicada than a frog."
It can also sound like a little lost lamb, (a long way away).
They are tiny, and love to live in gutters, and yes, you certainly are in their Zone.
Unfortunately there were two good Frog websites, but one is broken or down.
The other only has pictures and descriptions, not sounds.
Museum of Australia wants to sell (for only 99 cents) Frog Sounds as an App for a Mobile Phone.
I don't "do" that kind of technology, but mention it in case you do.
Best of luck.
Denis Wilson