When is a Frog like a Motorbike?
When it sounds like one! This isn’t a riddle out of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ - we’re talking about the Motorbike Frog of course. It’s no joke, this amazing frog actually sounds 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. You can also listen to their call at the top right-hand side of this site: scroll to the bottom of the page to hear it.
Motorbike Frogs call in summer, so listen out for them if you are in the south-east of Western Australia.
These frogs are large, growing up to 10 cm, with long back legs. After a sunbake, they can be 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 near you, as they breed from spring to late summer each year. 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 in permanent water sources. They mainly eat algae. In 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 love to 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.
TIP Have you ever thought about establishing a native frog or fish pond in your garden? There’s no time like the present. Click here to read the frog pond factsheet.