Key to Victorian frogs
Wherever possible it is preferable to identify a frog by its call. This can be done quickly, accurately, and without disturbing the frogs, or their environment. The calls are featured on the individual species pages.
However, only male frogs call regularly and distinctly, and most call in the evening and only during a defined breeding season. Hence a frog found under a log in July at midday is extremely unlikely to be calling! Other means of identification must be employed.
Photographs can be useful in identification but frog colouration is extremely variable and the trick is to know exactly what you are looking at in each photograph. It is not uncommon for the same kind of frog to be green in some circumstances or surroundings and brown in others.
The keys on this site have been designed to focus attention on the important features of each species without any need to handle the animals unnecessarily. Each species should be able to be adequately identified while viewed through a clear plastic jar, container, or bag.
Below is the start of the key to Frogs of Victoria. At each question of the key, there are two alternative statements (A or B) - choosing the one which best describes the frog leads to a further question until, finally, the frog is identified.
As this process of elimination progresses, the frog's identity is narrowed down to a family and then to a genus. At these points, there is blocks of information about that family or genus. This is included to explain the ecology and habitats of frog groups. It is not part of the key and does not have to be read each time the key is used.
Onward to discovery.
NOTE: There are some species which have very small or indistinct pads. If the frog is large and green and similar to either of these photographs, choose B.