Winter froggn’: frogs that don’t mind the cold

Crinia sloanei
Crinia sloanei

Being more accustomed to frogs in warmer, more northern climes, which disdain the colder weather — I’ve been enjoying the winter frog action to be had in this southern chilly location of Albury. After about a week of heavy rain in April and May, the frogs have been calling near constantly from the wetlands around the back of the CSU campus, in sodden paddocks, dam ponds and roadside ditches, audible even through my headphones during my bike ride home. As well the ever-present Crinia signifera and C. parinsignifera (common and eastern sign-bearing froglet respectively), the CSU campus is home to Crinia sloanei, an endangered frog similar in appearance to C. signifera but with different more cheep-y call. After honing in on the call and doing a bit of hunting through the grassy vegetation, I managed to tracked ‘em down and got a good look. A nice frog to tick off the list. Also seen that night — Litoria peroni (Peron’s tree frog), Limnodynastes tasmaniensis (spotted marsh frog), and we heard Litoria ewingii (southern brown tree frog).

Neobatrachus sudelli
Sudells burrowing frog

About a week later and after more rain, I noticed a different call in one corner of a paddock as I biked past. Coming back the next night, with fellow intrepid frogger (Carmen Amos), it didn’t take us long to find Neobatrachus sudelli (Sudells burrowing frog)! A cutey burrowing frog that seems quite happy with the sub 10deg temperatures. There’s a lot of tenacity in these winter-calling species, something to admire.