Backyard Buddies
Green Tree Frog

Photo: FNPW Image Library

Green Tree Frog

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After rain on a hot day, the Green Tree Frog will emerge. You may find them in your house, your water tank, your drainpipe, toilet, pool, or even mail box, in search of a cool moist spot.

The rain brings Australian native frog species out in droves - and if you don't see a Green Tree Frog, you may hear them. Green Tree Frogs love to get into downpipes and tanks during the mating season in spring and summer. These locations act like a microphone to increase the volume of their low, slow 'brawk, brawk, brawk' call.

Your outside lights attract the frog's favourite food - bugs. Green Tree Frogs are a great garden helper. They eat moths and other insects, as well as spiders, mice and other small animals. They catch their food in their strong jaws and use a hand to force it down.

Green Tree Frogs are very docile amphibians that love to climb. They are well equipped for it, using the large gripping pads on their fingers and toes to scale smooth, vertical surfaces. They can even climb directly up glass.

After scaling a great height, they'll often wait around near an outdoor light. When an insect comes to bat against the globe, the Green Tree Frog will powerfully launch itself and catch it.

They are excellent night hunting predators - they can even catch small bats as they fly out of caves.

The Green Tree Frog is one of the most widespread Australian frogs. It lives in New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia, and Western Australia. It is also one of Australia's largest frogs, and grows up to 10 cm long.

Green Tree Frogs can scream when they are in danger, in an attempt to scare off a predator.

Did you know?

Although frogs have lungs, they absorb oxygen through their skin. For this to occur efficiently, the skin must be moist. The problem with this is that when there is pollution in the area, a frog absorbs it through its skin


Avoid using chemicals or insecticides in your garden, and especially near water sources - or it could harm our native frogs.

Wet Season Frogs in the Northern Territory

By Ranger Clare Pearce, Community Education Officer and Katherine Region Junior Ranger Coordinator, Parks and Wildlife Commission of the N.T.

Our Northern Territory frogs love the rain. It means there is abundant water to drink, swim and lay eggs in.

The gullies and creeks in the sandstone country of Nitmiluk National Park are a great place to look for some of the 25 species of frogs that have been recorded within its boundaries.

The undergrowth makes for great hiding places while waiting for dinner to scuttle by and the damp leaf litter provides respite from the heat.

Meanwhile bright lights at night in your backyard attract insects. As a result, you might spot froggy visitors sitting on top of a wall or fence waiting for their next meal. Once their bellies are full the males will often spend the rest of the wet season night singing songs of love to attract mates.

Female frogs are attracted to males who call loudly and each frog species has a different croak. Wet season evenings can be deafening as local amphibians get busy finding mates and laying eggs in puddles and waterholes filled by the rain.

A loud 'werk, werk, werk' call can mean that you are lucky enough to be host to a Green Tree Frog. These large frogs can grow up to 10cm long and have been known to live for 16 years in zoos and wildlife parks.

Green Tree Frogs make great house guests as they are fierce predators and love to snack on cockroaches and other pesky bugs. This fantastic frog is nocturnal and comes out in the evening after snoozing in dark, damp hidey holes during the day. Encourage frogs to your garden by planting native trees and shrubs and by putting some logs and rocks around the yard.

Cane toads can jump over 30cm high and a pond raised up above that height is also appreciated by visiting amphibians. Who knows, you may just be helping the next generation of the evening chorus.

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Related Factsheets:

Peron’s Tree Frog

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Photo: OEH