Bumpy Rocket Frog
It’s a Bumpy Road to Love When You're a Frog
The wonderfully named Bumpy Rocket Frog is a great little frog to look out for in the north of Australia at the moment, in Darwin backyards and particularly in northern Queensland.
Another name for this frog is the Floodplain Frog because it comes out in abundance after heavy rains. Due to the recent heavy rainfall in Queensland, there's a good chance you will be hearing, if not seeing this frog for the next few weeks.
The Bumpy Rocket Frog has a very warty problem, which is how he got his Bumpy name! It might look like a toad when you first glimpse it but have a closer look because unlike toads, this frog has moist skin and a slender body with longer legs.
Another reason it's probably not a toad is because we don't have any native toads in Australia. Unfortunately we do have the introduced Cane Toad in northern Australia to watch out for.
The Cane Toad is much bigger than the 4 cm long Bumpy Rocket Frog, and looks a lot grumpier too. Click here to find out how to tell the difference between a Cane Toad and native frog.
If you see the Bumpy Rocket Frog, you'll know it by its brown, warty back. If you look closely, you'll see that the back of its legs have a pale cream or yellow colour. It may not have very handsome skin but its big black eyes are hard not to like. By far its best feature though, has to be its voice.
The Bumpy Rocket male frog is known for its loud and distinctive voice. The call is a high pitched 'beep beep' that they repeat all night, hardly pausing for breath. These calls are how he advertises himself to any potential female partners in the area.
Like a lot of frogs, the skin under their mouths can be inflated and deflated to produce these mating calls. It takes a lot of energy for such a small frog to create these loud noises.
When the Bumpy Rocket Frog finds his mate, mum and dad will leave a clump of 96 to 330 eggs. These eggs need to be kept wet while the baby tadpoles are growing inside which usually takes about 76 days. Once they hatch, the tadpoles eat and grow straight away. Over time their legs will develop and eventually the tail drops.
Autumn is the time for many different frog species to start growing their legs, so see if you can find them in your local pond or creek.
Like a lot of frog species, the Bumpy Rocket Frog has very sensitive skin that is susceptible to chemicals and contaminated run off. To encourage them into your backyard, avoid using chemicals in your garden that could wash into the soil or waterways.
DID YOU KNOW?
The monsoon season is the best time to hear and see these little guys. Their numbers dramatically increase after all of the rain.