One of the joys of living in the country with no visible neighbours are the sounds that carry an amazing distance on a still night. One of the most recognisable sounds after rain is the call of what we refer to as the ‘bonking’ frog. We have a dam near the house which we use as a water source in case of fire, but it is also a great habitat for various species of frog. What we refer to as the ‘bonking’ frog is actually called the ‘Pobblebonk Frog’ (Limnodynastes dumerili).
The Pobblebonk is quite common in our district and burrows into the clay near the dam. I happened to be doing a bit of digging today and came across the one in the photo. This frog uses it’s strong back legs to burrow.When I dug this frog up, it was swollen tight as a drum and could hardly move. It is quite a large frog and probably the largest of several species we have in the Flowerdale District. I’ve seen Pobblebonks many times but I’ve never noticed their water holding ability. As I moved to place this frog in a safe space, I ended up with a hand full of liquid and a frog half the size of when I picked it up. It must have passed about 10 ml. of clear liquid. The liquid smelt o.k., but unlike some bush tucker, I wasn’t game to try it!
I’ve read about a frog in the arid regions of Australia called the ‘Water Holding Frog” which can be used as a water source for survival purposes. Perhaps the Pobblebonk has the ability to store water as an adaptation to survive long periods without rain. We have already had a very dry Autumn, maybe these frogs are able to sense a dry period ahead and store water accordingly. I’d love to know more if anyone has any knowledge of this. Meanwhile, next time I’m in the bush and run out of water….