If you live in eastern Australia, you may hear a tiny little frog chatting away, trying to attract a mate.
Common Eastern Froglets are very small, only 1.8 to 3 cm long, and are the most common and widespread frog in south-eastern Australia.
Common Eastern Froglets are frequent backyard visitors. They'll happily live in and around garden ponds, pools, and ditches of water in suburban and urban areas. They are just as common in rural areas, living near farm dams, swamps, flooded grasslands, and just about anywhere there are pools of freshwater.
Eastern Froglets eat small insects including flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, and spiders, centipedes and caterpillars.
While some frogs only call when the weather is warm or hot, Common Eastern Froglets need no specific conditions. They will call away during the day or night, and all year round. Their call is soft and smooth, and rapidly repeated.
Listen out for the males calling "crick, crick, crick, crick, crick" together. They sound a bit like crickets, except at a lower pitch. You might spot a Common Eastern Froglet calling from amongst the wet plants at the water's edge, or in the middle of the water delicately balanced on a plant.
If you turn over a wet rock, log or even some leaf litter while gardening, don't be too surprised if you spot dozens of these little buddies. They love to hide where it's moist and dark. You may even trace their amplified calls back to a drain, where moisture lingers and frogs feel safe and comfortable and will sometimes mate.
Your backyard frogs may be easier to spot at night, when they can move around in the open without drying out and without being too exposed to predators.
Common Eastern Froglets breed almost year round, and a female can have more than one clutch each year. Males call to attract a mate, and if you're hearing them, check your backyard pond or nearest water source for little eggs or tadpoles. These frogs lay their eggs either singly, or in small clumps attached to underwater plants. Sometimes their eggs roll around the bottom of the pond.
It takes about a week to ten days for the eggs to hatch, and then the tadpoles can take anywhere from six weeks to three months to develop into adult frogs. Common Eastern Froglets vary greatly in colour, markings and size.
Did you know?
Frogs are extremely sensitive to chemicals, including soap and sunscreen, so it's best not to handle them and definitely not to take them from the wild to place in your backyard pond. If you build a new pond, it will take some time for frogs to find it - but rest assured, if you build it, they will come.
Install some solar powered outdoor lights in your backyard. This not only makes your garden look nice, but it will attract insects at night for frogs to feast on. You can also place some self-watering pot plants around your backyard. When it gets dry, frogs love to climb into the reservoirs.