Spadefoot Toads (Neobatrachus sudelli)

We have a species of frog that has been recorded in the frog census in only a few places in the greater Melbourne area. This is the Spadefoot Toad (not a toad but actually a burrowing frog). These frogs avoid drought conditions by lying buried beneath the ground (up to a metre deep in harsh conditions, but usually about 10cm, as per Melbourne Water advice). Heavy rains bring them to the surface. They have been found in Rees Road wetland in Rees Road, Botanica Springs Creek wetland and adjacent to Pinkerton Forest. Their soft purring calls among the flooded reeds should be familiar with those living in Hume Ave & beyond, after heavy rains. Their vertical eye pupils are a distinctive feature. The Melbourne Water Frog Census has recorded these only at Melton, Sunbury & Pattersons Lakes in the greater Melbourne region. So far they have been recorded in two Melton South wetlands, close to Arnolds Creek. However, occasional calls have been heard from across the paddocks after rain, so there may be some in other sites nearby where they may be found. One has been calling from a paddock adjacent to Pinkerton Forest. They are only heard at night. Other likely local wetlands such as lignum swamps, isolated dams & wetlands have been visited, but no other populations have been located to date. These two populations make Melton almost unique in this region in being the home of these unusual frogs. Spadefoot Toads are considered Regionally Significant in the greater Melbourne area. It makes a valuable addition to Melton’s biodiversity.


Rocky River Frog (Litoria lesueuri)

The Rocky River Frog is found locally only in the Lerderderg Gorge (not quite in Melton). They have also been heard in the Brisbane Rangers. It can be distinguished by its large head.

Details of these frogs can be seen on: &

Southern Brown Treefrog (Litoria ewingii)

The Southern Brown Treefrog is a small frog, about the size of a Spotted Marsh Frog, similar in appearance to the Whistling Treefrog.

It whistling call is somewhat more ‘metallic’ sounding than that of the Whistling Treefrog.

These treefrogs live in Toolern Creek & Little Blind Creek. They can also be heard calling in Lerderderg Gorge & Hopetoun Park. One was also heard calling from a backyard in Bacchus Marsh.

Their loud calls can be heard along Little Blind Creek at night, especially where Centennial Avenue crosses the creek.

Listen to the Southern Brown Treefrog call ...


Details of these frogs can be seen on: &


Whistling Treefrog (Litoria Verreauxii)

Photos by Richard Akers

The Whistling Treefrog is a small frog, about the size of a small Spotted Marsh Frog. It makes up for this small size by its extraordinarily loud whistling call that can easily be mistaken for a bird call. These treefrogs live in a few wetlands in Melton South; where narrow gullies have been dammed to form small deep dams. No trees to be seen! Their loud whistling calls can be heard echoing across the paddocks at night from two similar dams, both north & south of Brooklyn Road. Treefrogs have also been heard calling occasionally from permanent pools in Arnolds Creek. Large numbers can be heard calling from the man-made wetlands created beside the Riverina housing estate. Presumably they have migrated here from the narrow dam below in Botanica Springs Creek.

Listen to the Whistling Treefrog call ...


Details of these frogs can be seen on: &

Perons Treefrog (Litoria peroni)

Perons Treefrog has been heard locally in a single wetland in Melton Valley Golf Course, (so far). Their calls can be heard from the adjacent road, above the noise of the passing traffic. This treefrog is usually found further north. They have also been found in Sunbury. It is more commonly heard calling in woodlands in Northern Victoria. Its call is a distinctive cackling sound. An agitated Wood Duck makes a similar cackling call as it calls from its nest in a tree.

Its skin is peppered with tiny green star-like spots.

Listen to the Perons Treefrog call ...


Details of these frogs can be seen on: &


Growling Grass Frog (Litoria raniformis)

The Growling Grass Frog is our largest local frog. Growling Grass Frogs are found in a few locations in and around Melton. They can be heard calling from wetlands adjacent to Greigs Road at Strathtulloh. They can also be heard in man-made wetlands in Melton South and Caroline Springs. Its call is a low growl and is usually heard on hot evenings. A major population of Growling Grass Frogs is found in the wetlands north of Rockbank and along Kororoit Creek. There will be a Growling Grass Frog reserve beside Kororoit Creek but unfortunately most of the other wetlands in the region will be lost under development.

It is also endangered, mainly through habitat loss. Many wetlands have been lost to urban expansion over the last few years. Unfortunately many more wetlands will be lost to urban expansion over the next few years, including Growling Grass Frog habitat. The future of the Growling Grass Frog in Melbourne’s western region appears bleak!

Listen to the Growling Grass Frog call ...


Details of these frogs can be seen on: &


Pobblebonk (Limnodynastes dumerilli)

The resonant “bonk” of the Pobblebonk (also called Banjo Frog) is possibly our most unmistakable frog call. Its musical banjo-like call is heard in most of our creeks, most usually with heavy natural vegetation cover, trees & less murky water. They are heard calling in the warmer months. Their resonant calls are a sure sign that spring has arrived & that warmer weather is on the way. As the weather grows warmer their musical calls became more widespread. They are now also heard among rocks in the artificial wetland at Botanica Springs, newly created in 2007. These frogs retreat into the ground in dry weather & they are often dug up in gardens. Their egg masses are concealed within masses of froth and can be seen floating on water among vegetation.

Listen to the Pobblebonk call ...


Details of these frogs can be seen on: &

Spotted Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis)

The distinctive “tic” of the Spotted Marsh Frog is heard in many wetlands around Melton. These are heard in open, grassy or rocky ponds, often new, manmade & muddy, with little or no vegetation cover. They can be heard in the remnant red Gum / lignum wetlands around Rockbank, as well as the artificial wetlands at Botanica Springs & Kurunjang (Rain Lover Drive near Little Blind Creek)

They are heard in isolated locations like the lignum swamp in Paynes Rd South (where they can be heard from the road after rain). Spotted Marsh Frogs can also be heard in the Bush’s Paddock dam (on the rare occasions that it has water). They are the only frogs here. They can also be heard in the ‘Sheepwash’ in Mt Cottrell Road near Bush’s Paddock. They are also found in the dam at Upper Pinkerton Forest. They are often heard where no other frog species are heard. A significant proportion of Spotted Marsh Frogs in the Melton area have a “rapid fire” call, a series of 4-5 “tics”, as heard in northern & central Victoria, rather than the single ‘tic’ usually heard in Melton (& in the rest of southern Victoria). Similar calls were heard at artificial wetlands at Kurunjang & Botanica Springs. The line of demarcation between the two populations of Spotted Marsh Frogs may not be as strictly defined as existing records may suggest.

Listen to the Spotted Marsh Frog call ...


Details of these frogs can be seen on: &

Common Froglet (Crinia signifera)

The Common Froglet is by far our commonest frog. Its cricket-like "creek creek creek" is heard all year round & almost anywhere there is water, with vegetation cover. However, it is not heard in new, artificial wetlands with muddy water, bare rock walls & no vegetation. Common Froglets can be calling from anywhere in Melton that has water, easily recognised by their calls. Despite their small size (2 cm) their call is quite loud.

Listen to the Common Froglet call ...


As these photographs taken locally show, individual froglets show an almost infinite variation in their colouration, although the basic pattern remains quite similar. They also appear to be absent from isolated wetlands that have been dry for very long periods, like the remnant wetlands around Rockbank. Their eggs are laid singly in submerged vegetation.

Details of these frogs can be seen on: &




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