Australian Frogs and The Toad

The ‘crazy chicken frog’ now aka Spalding’s rocket frog (Litoria spaldingi), has popped into the news when the experts decided it was really a different species. Science decided incorrectly 53 years back it was the same as the Wotjulum rocket frog and one species, but then science is not always perfect.

There is an imbedded frog call for ‘Spaldings rocket frog’ in the ABC news item.

A recording of the other ‘crazy chicken frog”, aka Wotjulum Rocket Frog ( Litoria watjulumensis), is imbedded in the following species description. Worth a chuckle.


Go the citizen scientists!


The weather is warming up and the spring rainfall freshening the place up in SE Qld.

We’re starting to hear the calls of the Sedge frogs from all around the property. They are too small and well hidden to easily spot. The Striped marsh frogs are also about. Being larger there is a chance of a brief glimpse as they jump out of the way.

Missing is the distinctive croak of the large green tree frogs, especially those living near the house. They are often spotted as well as heard. There has also been an absence of Cane toads, which might also be great, but -

I’ve started to notice quite a number of dark brown to black emaciated corpses of both dead toads and frogs. Just as described in the article.

It’s not a good sign for the future.


A month, more than 420mm of rain over 6 weeks, and a plague of mosquitoes later.

  • There are baby cane toads in bulk.
  • The stripped marsh frogs have fired up in full chorus from two sites.
  • The distinctive short sharp call of the sedge frog is present, but not in any number like previous years.

There are zero calls of the green tree frogs to be heard anywhere across our acres of bush or around the house.

What would be normal for this time of year?

It was not possible to do anything outside without finding one or two.

The adjacent commercial pine forest is also remarkably quiet. The sedge frogs can usually be heard calling at any time of the year, even if it’s just one or two thinking it’s a good time. Apparently not on a site they were clearly in abundance as late as May/June this year.

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