Mystery frog found at school - can you help?

Need some help to identify a frog (or tadpole or egg mass)? Sounds like a job for the collective minds of the Community. Photographs and/or recordings are greatly appreciated. Results guaranteed (All money cheerfully refunded).

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gecko2
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Mystery frog found at school - can you help?

Postby gecko2 » Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:58 pm

Hi,

We found this frog at school where it was about to be trampled during a whole school fire drill. Ouch!

We then couldn't identify it using our books or the web and so have put up a temporary website with photos and a sound file of it's call.

http://users.pipeline.com.au/vk3atl/frog/frog.html

It looks like a tree frog of some sort, about 3cm long with a call very much like a garden cricket (creeek .... crick .. crick .. crick). We didn't want to just release it again unless we knew it wasn't some feral introduced bilby-eating monster frog. We also thought that it might be a juvenile.

Thanks for any help you can give in identifying this little guy.

Doug R
Bellarine Secondary College
Drysdale, Geelong, Victoria

Chris Key
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Location: Tecoma, Victoria, Australia

Postby Chris Key » Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:28 am

just put your pics and sound in here :)

i cleaned up the wav file and converted to a smaller mp3 file too :)

HTH

PS i couldn't identify the frog, but i'm no expert *at all*

cheers
Chris
Attachments
frog2.mp3
(63.65 KiB) Downloaded 809 times
frog_feet.jpg
mystery_frog.jpg

gecko2
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Postby gecko2 » Mon Apr 25, 2005 6:04 pm

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the help in putting the files here and shrinking the sound file. I wasn't sure if it was OK to post big files.


Thanks again,

Doug R

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Re: ID hints

Postby gecko2 » Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:55 pm

Hi,

Dave Black wrote:Because of the way the frog was discovered (that is, not in a bunch of produce or at a nursery) it is very likely to belong in the area.
...
The call sounds like no frog to be found in your area. However, looking closely at your photograph, and given the length that you describe, I believe that this a a juvenile frog. It looks as if the tail has almost but not quite been absorbed into the body..


A few bits that I omitted...
- the frog was found about 8m from the school canteen so we checked the lost frog's home etc for banana box frog details.
- Also even though we found the frog before the hordes of students reached the area with their fire drill, the frog was partly covered with dirt and did not look happy at all. I think it might have had a close call or 2 earlier in the day.
- our school had a frog pond that as far as we can tell has never seen anything like a frog anywhere near it. It's about 100m and many buildings from where our specimen was found.
- late last week I heard another call similar to the call of ours in a garden area about 30m away. It was during the day (ours calls only in the evening/night and once the lights are down/off).
- the school has a long history with frogwatch and has the appropriate licence (so I've been told) for us to hold young froggy for identification.

I hadn't noticed the leftover tail (obvious from the photo now). So I had a closer look and the frog's colouring seems to be changing and it's skin getting rougher. Definitely looks more 'grown up' than it did, but the length is still about 3cm. Here's a photo from tonight (if the attachment works)

Thanks,

Doug R
Bellarine Secondary College
Attachments
IMG_1316_vsm.jpg
2nd photo of our mystery frog. Approx 4wks between photos.

gecko2
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Re: A growing lad or lass

Postby gecko2 » Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:05 pm

Hi,
Dave Black wrote:It seems that your frog has grown somewhat in the past four weeks. The new image doesn't add a lot of information as the frog is hiding all the parts of its body that lead to identification.


Sorry for the poor photo. I will try to get some better ones, but may have to get hold on one of the school cameras with better low light and macro modes. I don't like using the flash on the poor little guy - named Philbert by the kids.

If you do indeed have the necessary licence, it may be a good project to keep the frog a little longer until it can be more certainly identified.

We do, but I'm not familiar with the details. We also run a year 10 course called 'Native Plants & Animals' and they are doing all sorts of licence-requiring stuff. I can find out the exact nature of the licence if it's a concern to anyone.

At some point, have a look at the key to Victorian frogs.

I have been through that key and a book version. Both lead to either Litoria nudidigita or Litoria spenceri if he's from Victoria. Young Philbert doesn't sound anything like Litoria nudidigita (although one of the photos is a little similar) and I couldn't find a description or recording of the call for Litoria spenceri (who shouldn't be calling at this time of the year anyway). That's when I got lost and posted on this forum.

(Even if it isn't a Victorian frog, the same features are used for id).

Is there another web-based key for frogs from other states?

Thanks for you help,

Doug R
Bellarine Secondary College
Drysdale, Geelong, VIC

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Re: Dinstinct white stripe?

Postby gecko2 » Mon May 02, 2005 9:26 pm

Hi,

Dave Black wrote:In order to arrive at Litoria nudidigita or Litoria spenceri, you have diverged from my identification at question 6 in the Hylidae/Litoria key.


I see what you mean. The markings on the lip are not really that distinct. The last photo I set has a shadow line where the lip line would be, which may be misleading.

The call of Litoria verreauxi is the closest I've heard to our mystery frog, but is much more tuneful and less screeching than ours. Perhaps this is a juvenile characteristic too. Do frogs have to practice and develop their calls?

I am tracking down a better camera and will attempt to get some better photos.

Thanks,

Doug R

Karen & Brett
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Mystery Frog

Postby Karen & Brett » Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:35 pm

Hi, Have you seen a photo the Spotted Tree Frog (Litoria Spenceri) this frog is on the national endangered list. It's geografic range is Eastern VIC, NSW. Habitat - is rocky streams and wet and dry forests. Adults range in size from males 24-41mm and females 37 - 52mm. tadpoles take 3 months to metamophose. Their skin apparantly looks like the lichen-encrusted granite rocks found where it lives. You can find photo's of this frog at www.ANTphoto.com

I found this information in one of our guides to Australian Frogs, and noticed the resemblance in markings to your little frog.

Regards,
Karen & Brett


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