Backyard Buddies
Bumpy Rocket Frog

Photo: Alexandre Roux

Bumpy Rocket Frog

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The Bumpy Rocket Frog is a great little frog to look out for in the north of Australia, in Darwin backyards and particularly in northern Queensland.

Another name for this frog is the Floodplain Frog because it comes out in great numbers after heavy rains.

The Bumpy Rocket Frog has a very warty problem, which is how he got his name. It might look like a toad when you first glimpse it but have a closer look because unlike toads, this frog has moist skin and a slender body with longer legs.

Another reason it's probably not a toad is because we don't have any native toads in Australia. Unfortunately we do have the introduced Cane Toad in northern Australia to watch out for.

The Cane Toad is much bigger than the 4 cm long Bumpy Rocket Frog however.

You can recognise the Bumpy Rocket Frog by its brown, warty back and pale cream or yellow legs.

The male Bumpy Rocket frog is known for its loud and distinctive voice. The call is a high pitched 'beep beep' that they repeat all night to attract potential female partners.

Like a lot of frogs, the skin under their mouths can be inflated and deflated to produce these mating calls. It takes a lot of energy for a small frog to create these loud noises.

When the Bumpy Rocket Frog finds his mate, they will leave a clump of 90 to 330 eggs. These eggs need to be kept wet while the baby tadpoles are growing inside which usually takes about 76 days. Once they hatch, the tadpoles eat and grow straight away. Over time their legs will develop and eventually the tail drops.

Autumn is the time for many different frog species to start growing their legs, so see if you can find them in your local pond or creek.

Did you know?

The monsoon season is the best time to hear and see Bumpy Rocket Frogs. Their numbers dramatically increase after a lot of rain.

Tip 

Like a lot of frog species, the Bumpy Rocket Frog has very sensitive skin that is susceptible to chemicals and contaminated run off. To encourage them into your backyard, avoid using chemicals in your garden that could wash into the soil or waterways.

Related Factsheets:

Striped Marsh Frog

Moving from water to land is not a Striped Marsh Frog's only change as they turn from tadpoles to frogs. Their daily menu makes some radical changes too. As tadpoles, these vegetarians feed on algae. After morphing, they drop their tails and their clean green diet, fast becoming keen hunter..

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”BYB shows that people can make a positive difference to conservation efforts in Australia. Learn, explore and love your bit of wilderness.“

Michele – National Parks Ranger, NSW

Photo: OEH