Common Eastern Froglets
Tiny Frogs as Common as Dirt
If you live in eastern Australia, you may well be hearing a tiny little frog chatting away, trying to attract a mate. Common Eastern Froglets may be small, at only 1.8 to 3 cm long (about the diameter of a 20 cent piece), but they are about as common as dirt. Common Eastern Froglets are probably the most common and widely spread frog in south-eastern Australia, so you’ve got a good chance of spotting one.
Common Eastern Froglets have no qualms about being your neighbour. They’ll happily live in and around garden ponds, pools, and ditches of water in suburban and urban areas. But they’re no stranger away from cities either. You can also spot them near farm dams, swamps, flooded grasslands, and just about anywhere there are pools of freshwater.
Distribution map of the Common Eastern Froglet, Crinia signifera.
These ground-dwelling frogs are fantastic residents to have in your backyard, as their number one focus is bug control. Common Eastern Froglets love to eat up small insects including flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, and spiders, centipedes and caterpillars.
While some frogs only call when the weather is warm or hot, Common Eastern Froglets need no specific conditions. These chatterboxes will call away during the day or night, and all year round. Their call is soft and smooth, and rapidly repeated.
Listen out for the males calling ‘crick, crick, crick, crick, crick’ together. They sound a bit like crickets, except at a lower pitch. If you’re lucky you might be able to spot a Common Eastern Froglet calling from amongst the wet plants at the water’s edge, or in the middle of the water delicately balanced on a plant.
If you turn over a wet rock, log or even some leaf litter while gardening, don’t be too surprised if you spot dozens of these little buddies. They love to hide where it’s moist and dark. You may even trace their amplified calls back to a drain, where moisture lingers and frogs feel safe and comfortable and sometimes mate.
Your backyard frogs may be easier to spot at night, when they can move around in the open without drying out and without being too exposed to predators.
Common Eastern Froglets breed almost year round, and a female can have more than one clutch each year. Males call to attract a mate, and if you’re hearing them, check your backyard pond or nearest water source for little eggs or tadpoles. These frogs lay their eggs either singly, or in small clumps attached to underwater plants. Sometimes their eggs roll around the bottom of the pond.
It takes about a week to ten days for the eggs to hatch, and then the tadpoles can take anywhere from six weeks to three months to develop into adult frogs. Common Eastern Froglets vary greatly in colour, markings and size.
DID YOU KNOW
Frogs are extremely sensitive to chemicals, including soap and sunscreen, so its best not to
handle them and definitely not to take them from the wild to place in your backyard pond. If you
build a new pond, it will take some time for frogs to find it—but rest assured, if you build it, they will come.
Install some solar powered outdoor lights in your backyard. This not only makes your garden look nice, but it will attract insects at night for frogs to feast on. You can also place some self-watering pot plants around your backyard. When it gets dry, frogs love to climb into the reservoirs.