Backyard Buddies
Striped Marsh Frog

Photo: Brenda Starr

Striped Marsh Frog

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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 hunters.

Striped Marsh Frogs eat any animal they can fit into their mouths, like smaller frogs, birds and mice. They swallow their food whole by using their eye sockets! They suck these inwards to help push food down their throat.

Striped Marsh Frogs will leave their natural refuge of debris, logs, rocks and bushy plants to go singing in the rain. Listen out for his favourite note: a loud 'tok' that sounds like a tennis racquet hitting a ball.

Striped Marsh Frogs can seem like an invisible caller. Their beige, golden or dark brown stripes blend in with earthy surroundings. Their limbs, splattered with irregular brown spots and squiggles, can look like blobs of mud. Striped Marsh Frogs have a standout feature though—a pale yellow stripe which runs down the middle of their bodies. These calling card stripes are unique to each frog, and on some frogs it’s pale yellow, on others it’s highlighter bright and on a few including young ones, the stripe is missing entirely.

Look after Striped Marsh Frogs at your place

For these buddies, a suburban source of water is the perfect place to visit. From September to April, backyard ponds are a welcome watery refuge for bobbing males to float in while calling for mates. Inside ponds, females lay their eggs, tadpoles grow up, and the moisture keep frogs hydrated.

You can build a sunken backyard pond for Striped Marsh Frogs. If you can’t build a pond but your area gets lots of rainfall, Striped Marsh Frogs may still be visiting your backyard.

Place natural shelters such as logs, rocks, leaf and bark litter, and upturned flower pots around your garden. These offer Striped Marsh Frogs a cool place to rest so their skin won’t dry out in the hot sun. It also lets them hide if they see a predator.

Simple things that you do can make a huge difference to Australia’s animals. That’s why the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is running Backyard Buddies— to give you tips to help.

What is a backyard buddy?

Backyard buddies are the native animals that share our built-up areas, our beaches and waterways, our backyards and our parks. The Striped Marsh Frog is a backyard buddy.

Backyard buddies are also the local people who value the living things around them, like Striped Marsh Frogs, and are willing to protect and encourage them by doing a few simple things around their own homes.

So you can be a backyard buddy.

Be a backyard buddy

It’s easy. All you have to do is care... and take a few simple steps.

Step one is to find out what Striped Marsh Frogs do and do not like.

Striped Marsh Frogs love:

Water – a cool, refreshing drink, which is absorbed through the skin.

Insects – a quick, nutritious meal for froglets fresh from the pond.

Shelter – a cool, damp place to hide from predators.

But they don't like:

Large fish – which often eat their tadpoles

Insecticide – as it contaminates the insects they eat and pollutes the water they live in.

Dry, hot areas – which leave them feeling parched and breathless.

Chytrid fungus – a disease that attacks the keratin in their skin, damaging their nervous system and making it hard to breathe.

Be a Striped Marsh Frog buddy

Try to:

Avoid:

Don't be surprised if:

Find out more about your buddies

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