Keen observers of our flora and fauna often become excited thinking they may have stumbled across a new or rare species. More often than not, the difference observed is a variation within a species. For example the frog in the above picture is your typical representative of the Banjo Frog or Pobblebonk (Limnodynastes dumerili), commonly found in the Flowerdale area and widespread in a variety of habitats in Victoria. The frog pictured below with the yellow flank is also a Pobblebonk, a colour variant found in the nursery operated by Rick Wheeler near the Flowerdale Primary School. A survival adaptation of frogs is the ability to merge into the surrounding environment Combined with the ability to remain motionless, the frog is able to avoid detection by predators. Colour change is achieved by sensing its surroundings and releasing hormones that control the movement of the pigment melanin to contract deeper into the skin cells, or disperse across the cell and closer to the skin surface, thereby creating lighter or darker shades. This yellow flanked Pobblebonk may have been hiding in some of the yellow pigmented grasses that Rick is growing, it would be interesting to know.
The evenings in Flowerdale at the moment are punctuated by the call of the Peron’s Tree Frog, also known as the Maniacal Cackle frog. It is the middle of breeding season for this species. With little suction caps on its toes, the Peron’s Tree Frog is a skilled climber. I watched one last night climbing the window and catching insects attracted by the light bulb. Click on the following link to hear it’s spooky call http://frogs.org.au/frogs/species/Litoria/peroni/