Two different frogs in my courtyard!

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Rhonda
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Two different frogs in my courtyard!

Postby Rhonda » Wed May 30, 2012 8:36 pm

Hi,

I have recently discovered 2 different types of frogs in my courtyard! Towards the end of April '12 I discovered a frog which I believe is a Peron's Tree Frog. A few days later I discovered 4 of these same frogs in my courtyard — some on the brick walls and some on the pavers! However, over the next week they seemed to gradually disappear.

During the time the Peron's were disappearing I spotted another frog in the opening of the water-well part of a plant pot. I believe this one is Green Tree Frog.

I've never seen this little green frog out on the pavers — it just sits in the opening, and disappears back into the water-well if I get too close (like tonight when I managed to get these two shots of it before it retreated and swam out of sight). I assume it sits in the opening like this waiting for crickets to jump past(?) With this in mind I've been leaving fruit and vegetable scraps on the pavers near the opening of the water well for crickets to eat, but it is so cold at night now that even most of the cockroaches have disappeared from the courtyard! So I don't know if crickets are still around, so I wonder how & what this little green frog is eating!

I am fascinated by these frogs, and consider it a privilege to have them in my backyard, and would greatly appreciate it if someone could answer a few questions about them for me:

• Do Peron's hibernate during winter (is this why I don't see any more now)?
• If the little green frog is a GTF am I seeing this frog because they continue to be active throughout winter (ie, they don't hibernate)?
• If GTF's don't need water unless they are laying eggs, then why does this one live in the water-well of my self-watering plant pot? (perhaps its just that it is a safe hidey-hole and the water is irrelevant?)
• I've never heard this little green frog make a noise — does this mean it is a female?
• Is there anything I can do to encourage it to stay in my courtyard, and hopefully breed?

Rhonda
Attachments
Peron's Tree Frog.jpg
Green Tree Frog1.jpg
Green Tree Frog2.jpg
Last edited by Rhonda on Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Aaron
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Postby Aaron » Wed May 30, 2012 9:48 pm

Hi Rhonda they are great frogs to have in your yard.

• Do Peron's hibernate during winter (is this why I don't see any more now)?

Most frogs do enter a stage of very little activity over the winter months and the Peron's is one of these.

• If the little green frog is a GTF am I seeing this frog because they continue to be active throughout winter (ie, they don't hibernate)?

Green Tree Frogs tend to be more conspicuous than other frogs particularly around human habitation. They will reduce their activity over the colder months.

• If GTF's don't need water unless they are laying eggs, then why does this one live in the water-well of my self-watering plant pot? (perhaps its just that it is a safe hidey-hole and the water is irrelevant?)

Green Tree Frogs will need access to some kind of moisture and the habitat you described sounds perfect for it. It will be moist and dark and possibly warm as well.

• I've never heard this little green frog make a noise — does this mean it is a female?

Depending how long the frog has been living there and what the weather conditions are like will have an impact on whether you could have heard it calling. Warm nights after rain would be the best times to determine if you have male frogs on your property as they would be more likely to call.

• Is there anything I can do to encourage it to stay in my courtyard, and hopefully breed?

If you provide places for the frogs to hide and ponds for them to breed in they will move in of their own accord. Both the Perons and the Green Tree Frog will breed in small still ponds or buckets of water.

Hope that helps,

Aaron

Rhonda
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Postby Rhonda » Wed May 30, 2012 10:48 pm

Hi Aaron,

Thanks so much for answering my questions, and so quickly. It's good to learn a bit more about my backyard visitors. It was interesting to learn that the GTF still needs some moisture, so that answers why it is so fond of my self-watering pot. If the water base of my self-watering pot provides comfortable conditions for this little green frog, then I hope I might continue to observe it over winter.

I hope you don't mind answering a few more questions if you have time. I forgot to also ask about the time of the year the GTF's mate. If they are less active over winter, I presume it will be spring (or summer) that tadpoles may start to be seen? Also, do the Peron's breed at the same time of the year as the GTF's?

I will have to see what I can do to encourage 'nursery' environments for tadpoles within my limited backyard space — but just having one GTF taking up residence gives me hope that this species might multiply in my yard. What a thrill that would be!

If it only takes something the size of a bucket I should be able organise something similar. Are there things I could put into such a vessel that would encourage laying, such as rocks and water plants (and probably some wire over the top to protect the tadpoles from birds)?

I presume I only have to keep feeding/encouraging the frog's prey, (such as fruit/veg scraps for the crickets – to keep a food supply going for the frogs), but what about about any future tadpoles — what do they eat, should/could I feed them?

I would appreciate any further advice you can offer me — thanks!

Regards,
Rhonda

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Aaron
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Postby Aaron » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:44 am

Rhonda wrote:I hope you don't mind answering a few more questions if you have time. I forgot to also ask about the time of the year the GTF's mate. If they are less active over winter, I presume it will be spring (or summer) that tadpoles may start to be seen? Also, do the Peron's breed at the same time of the year as the GTF's?


Peron's and the GTF breed in the warmer months. Peron's can breed in the early autumn as well.

Rhonda wrote:If it only takes something the size of a bucket I should be able organise something similar. Are there things I could put into such a vessel that would encourage laying, such as rocks and water plants (and probably some wire over the top to protect the tadpoles from birds)?


If there are no other options and there are breeding frogs around they will utilise any water body. If they did lay eggs in the bucket a wire covering would protect them from predators and you might need to provide a stick or two for the metamorphs to climb out of once the tadpoles start getting legs. You could dress up a large bucket or barrel by putting some aquatic plants in there

Rhonda wrote:I presume I only have to keep feeding/encouraging the frog's prey, (such as fruit/veg scraps for the crickets – to keep a food supply going for the frogs), but what about about any future tadpoles — what do they eat, should/could I feed them?


Most tadpoles are detritivores and scavenge whatever they can get on the bottom. The most effective tadpole food is frozen lettuce in my experience (boiling lettuce would make it lose a lot of nutrients). Depending where the frogs lay their eggs, if it is in a self-sufficient pond the tadpoles could get food from the environment but if they were to breed in a bucket they would need you to supplement their diet.


Aaron

Rhonda
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Postby Rhonda » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:06 pm

Hi Aaron,

Thanks for answering my further questions, I greatly appreciated it, and thanks for the tips on possible aquatic environments, etc, I could provide to help encourage more frog activity in my courtyard.

Regards,
Rhonda

annette
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Postby annette » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:25 am

I find frogs frequent particular plants like lomandras and bromeliads, so they are worth planting, and once you have bromeliads they multiply easily so you always have more plants.

After all the rain last year I had an explosion of tadpoles in my ponds (have 3, 2 are cultivated and the third is an old, unused in-ground bricked cooler of some sort which is totally reliant on rainwater fill, so is seasonal). I couldn't keep up to the frozen lettuce demand, so I supplemented this with fish food flakes and pellets, which worked well.

Here is a pic of Southern Brown Tree Frog tadpoles in the third pond, and that corrugated iron sheet provides the water supply as it directs the water from a shed roof nearby into the pond through a hole in the spouting. It looks crowded but the pond is about 8 foot long, 5 foot wide and a foot deep, they'd gathered for an imminent feed.

Image

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Postby spottedbob » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:54 pm

perons tree frog






AND REMEMBER EYES ON THE ROAD RHONDA!!!

Rhonda
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Postby Rhonda » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:33 pm

Hi again!

I've finally had some success with the Green Tree Frogs leaving spawn, but not in the small specially created frog pond, with a plant in it & rocks around the edge. Instead they left the spawn in a large, purely ornamental water feature/pot which has a pump moving the surface of the water, similar to the effect of a low pressure water bubbler. (I thought they only laid their spawn in still water[?!!]).

As the water pot is in full sun and gets very hot during the summer days, I knew that the eggs/tadpoles would not survive in this source of water, so I planned to relocate the spawn to the 'frog pond' after I made some minor repairs to one side of the pond (which had sunk too low after several months of settling). Had I known at that stage that spawn sinks to the bottom, I would have scooped it all out as soon as I saw it, & just kept it in a bucket until I could do the repairs the next day. So when I went to the pot the following day I just collected what was remaining (perhaps 50% of the original amount) & put it in the 'frog pond'.

Seven days later I noticed tadpoles in the 'frog pond'. I'm only able to see 3-4 tadpoles at a time, & I'm pretty sure that's all there is, which is a bit disappointing as I would have expected lots more based on the amount of spawn I collected. It's now been 12 days since the spawn was laid. (Not surprisingly, there are no tadpoles in the water pot.)

There hasn't been much in the way of rain, so I'm storing tap water in buckets, as the pond needs daily top-ups, & I understand that tap water needs 3 days of 'standing' before putting into small frog-inhabited ponds like mine. Originally I had these buckets full of water stored in the garage, but I've read that the buckets should be in the sun to dissipate the chlorine — I would appreciate if someone could confirm if this is necessary (exposure to sun).

I'm wondering if the quality of the water I'm using to top up the pond is impacting the eggs' hatching, & is perhaps why I see so few tadpoles (not at all like the results in Annette's photo, above). I see my tadpoles at the base of rocks that are under the water surface (the pond has a black plastic liner & one potted Brahmi plant in it). I'm wondering if they are eating algae on the rocks.

I have frozen lettuce in the freezer ready to go, & would appreciate someone telling me at what age is it appropriate to feed the tadpoles this?

I'd also like to know of the likelihood of repeat matings/more spawn this month (the last laying was 27th Dec). Perhaps there is only a small window of spawning, which has now passed.

I would have liked more tadpoles, as I realise there can be high attrition with things like predators, but at least the bird wire I've placed over the pond should minimise this.

Hope someone can let me know about the lettuce — thanks :)
Last edited by Rhonda on Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Aaron
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Postby Aaron » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:30 pm

Hi Rhonda,

Good to hear you've had some success.

Standing the water in the sun speeds up the process of removing chlorine from the water.

It can be hard to see tadpoles especially if they are very small and the substrate/water is dark. It is possible water quality is an issue but I would expect all the eggs to perish and not have a few survive and develop into tadpoles. If there is decaying plant matter on the floor of the pond the tadpoles will often feed on this or algae around the sides of the pond.

If you have a small net it might be worthwhile having a look using that and see if you can catch some tadpoles. If the eggs are from the 27th Dec the tadpoles will still be quite small. You can add some lettuce if you start seeing lots of tadpoles but you need to be careful you don't add too much food that starts to foul the water.

As for more matings this summer, it depends on how many frogs are around your yard. I'm not sure how many spawnings a female green tree frog can perform in one breeding season but the more females/males you have the more chances of another spawning event if conditions are right.

Aaron

Rhonda
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Postby Rhonda » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:15 pm

Hi Aaron,

It was good of you to respond to my post, again, thank you.

Thanks for clarifying about the reason for placing the stored water in the sun.

I might try your suggestion of taking a net through the lower area of the pond to see if there are more than just the four I can see.

I had placed some lettuce in the pond the day I discovered the tadpoles. I had read that too much lettuce may foul the water, so as they seemed to ignore it I thought they must be too young to eat it, so I removed it. Perhaps they were busy eating algae instead & might show more interest in lettuce as they get bigger. I will try again soon.

Thanks :)

Rhonda
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Location: Hawkesbury, NSW

Postby Rhonda » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:07 pm

Hi Aaron,

My Green Tree Frog tadpoles have been going mostly well. Over time it became apparent there were many more that were just out of view, as you had suggested. Also, the hatchings have been staggered as there have been tadpoles of different sizes & development.

Watching them develop has been fascinating! I think all of them now have back legs. About 6 days ago I noticed one or two that had front legs coming through (the spawn appeared on the 27th Dec), & then two days ago I saw a froglet out of the water. This individual had only one back leg, but seemed to hop out of sight OK.

Today I've spotted a tadpole with a bright red spot where its back leg should be. It appears they are eating their siblings limbs! Is this common? I've been feeding them frozen lettuce for the past several weeks, but it may not be enough. Or perhaps the pond is too small for the number of tadpoles?

By the way, it seems 2 other species of frogs are enjoying my pond. I spotted a tiny green frog about about the size of 10¢ piece, then a few days later what I believe was possibly a Striped Marsh Frog was hiding partially under a rock on the edge of the pond.

Regards,
Rhonda

Rhonda
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Location: Hawkesbury, NSW

Postby Rhonda » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:05 pm

Hi,

A few days ago I found this froglet hiding under rock & was lucky enough to get a photo of it. It's only the 2nd one I've seen emerge from the pond, yet there should be heaps of them around, as the number of tadpoles are diminishing in the pond.

Today, whilst lifting pond-edge rocks as I searched for Green Tree Froglets, I found 2 Striped Marsh Frogs hiding under rocks. They both immediately jumped into the pond. Can anyone tell me if this is the reason I'm not seeing any more froglets — could the Striped Marsh Frogs have moved in to feast on my emerging froglets? :(

Would appreciate any feedback anyone can offer. Thanks.
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Green Tree Froglet.jpg

annette
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Postby annette » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:24 am

Hi Rhonda, in my experience yes, the Striped Marshies will eat froglets, they'll eat anything small enough to fit in their mouth. Sad, but not much you can do, it's Nature....Keep up the good work!


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