Photo: C & D Frith
Reptiles & Frogs
Ornate Frog: Common Nursery Frog
- This particular species has not yet been given a common name.
- These frogs are rainforest dwellers, sheltering on damp soil or leaf litter under stones or logs where it is found calling loudly from lower vegetation.
- Twenty-five millimetres in length.
- The call is a high pitched metallic " Cheep " often difficult to locate.
This is the most common and widespread of the Microhylid frogs. It is a small frog, males growing to 27 mm and females up to 30 mm. The body varies in colour, ranging from pale fawn to brown, reddish or dark brown, with darker flecks and blotches. A typical animal has a pair of dark spots with a pale border on the lower back, a dark W-shaped mark on the shoulder, a dark band between the eyes, an faint bar along the side of the snout and a short black streak behind the eye, sometimes continuing onto the flanks. Other markings may include a /\-shaped mark on the lower back; a narrow, pale stripe along the spine, sometimes joining pale lines which run along the hind edge of each back leg; or a broad, pale stripe along the spine. The chin and belly are grey or brown, finely mottled with paler flecks. The fingers and toes have discs like a treefrog.
The Common nursery-frog is found in rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest throughout the Wet Tropics. During the day they shelter under logs, leaf litter or bark. Come nightfall they move onto the forest floor and low vegetation. Males call from vegetation about 1 m above the ground, mostly after rain. The call is a short "beep" uttered every 5 seconds or so. Males are territorial, chasing off other males that get to close. When a male has attracted a female, he leads her to the chosen nest site, calling all the while. The eggs are laid on dry land and the male stays close by to protect them.
This frog is widely distributed through the rainforests of the Wet Tropics, from the Bluewater Range near Townsville, to Mt Spurgeon near Port Douglas. They are common in rainforest all across the Tablelands.
Script courtesy of the Tablelands Frog Club Inc.