Backyard Buddies
Spotted Grass Frog

Photo: Sunphlo

Spotted Grass Frog

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The Spotted Grass Frog, also known as a Spotted Marsh Frog, has a distinctive tiny golden iris and a round, black pupil.

This frog lives in a wide range of areas, including Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, parts of South Australia and in Kununurra in Western Australia. It can live along the wet coast or even in the dry interior of Australia - it's a great survivor.

Spotted Grass Frogs are extremely quick to move into new ponds and wetlands in recently disturbed areas - so look out for them if you have had heavy rains or floods nearby.

In the south, listen out for a single, sharp 'Click' or 'Plock' call they make on moist nights. In the north, listen after rains for a repeated 'uk-uk-uk-uk-uk-uk'.

You'll hear male frogs calling out to females after dusk near dams or roadside ditches. They also live in marshy areas, flooded grasslands, streams and ponds with grassy areas. They can be hard to spot - they only grow up to 4.5 cm long.

Spotted Grass Frogs eat insects, spiders and even small snakes. They are ground dwelling, and most active during the night. During the day they prefer to remain hidden beneath logs, rocks or debris near the edge of temporary or permanent ponds, swamps and creeks.

They mainly breed from August to March, and females lay up to 1,500 eggs that are a tiny 1 mm each. These float in a foam on top of the water. The female Spotted Grass Frog makes this foam by forcing bubbles into the jelly-like substance surrounding the eggs with her paddle-like hands as she lays them.

The tadpoles vary from light to dark golden brown to a translucent gold. They turn into young frogs at three to five months.

Did you know?

The Latin name for the Spotted Grass Frog is Limnodynastes tasmaniensis. Tasmaniensis means 'from Tasmania'.

Females in the south-east of South Australia seem unable to synchronise their hand movements well enough to force many bubbles into an egg mass. So instead, they lay their eggs in a small, foam-free clump.

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