Backyard Buddies
Motorbike Frog

Photo: Litoria Moorei

Motorbike Frog

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The Motorbike Frog gets its name from the sound it makes - like a motorbike changing gears, followed by some growls and croaks.

As one of the most commonly seen frogs in south-western Australia, especially in Perth gardens, it's also one of the most entertaining.

Click to watch a video of a Motorbike Frog calling at night.

Motorbike Frogs are large, growing up to 10 cm, with long back legs. After a sunbake, their colour can change to green with gold mottling, or in colder conditions they can be dark brown or olive coloured. Their bellies are pale green to light brown.

Tadpoles and adults of this species need to sunbathe for an hour or two each day for healthy growth.

Keep an eye out for Motorbike Frog eggs in ponds and permanent water sources with lots of vegetation during breeding season from spring to late summer. Females lay their eggs in clumps on vegetation floating in a pond or growing slightly underwater.

The tadpoles grow up to 8 cm long, and swim in schools when small. They are usually a translucent yellow colour with some darker areas, but become darker with deep fins and pointed tails as they grow. They can be hard to spot as they hide amongst plants and roots. They mainly eat algae and from March to April, Motorbike Frog tadpoles turn into frogs.

Motorbike Frogs live mainly on the ground, but can also climb up low tree branches or shrubs, amongst rocks or even up brick walls and windows to a height of 2 m. These adventurous frogs eat other smaller frogs and insects, so they are good to have in the garden to keep the bug numbers in check.

These frogs live in streams, swamps, dams and ponds - including suburban garden ponds.

Did you know?

The fingers of the Motorbike Frog don't have webbing, but their toes do. They also have prominent toe discs. This frog has many names, including the Moore's Frog, the Western Bell Frog, the Western Green and Golden Bell Frog, and the Western Green Tree Frog.

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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