Thursday, 19 January 2012

The window frog

Although I have the Post It note to remind me, I sometimes forget to check the living room windows for frogs before opening them at night. Yesterday, the resident tree frog (in this case, a Litoria rubella) slipped in between the sliding and fixed panes.

It's not that I mind having tree frogs inside the house — I lived in Townsville for more than a decade, where green tree frogs #occupythetoiletbowl — but they tend not to last long. Squashed in windows, smothered by giant dust bunnies, trodden on by people...None of these sounds like a pleasant way to die. So when a frog (or lizard) comes into the house, I evict it. Politely, of course. It's important to remember one's manners.

The most common indoor frog in this area is the green-eyed tree frog (Litoria serrata), which is a true rainforest species. Litoria rubella is more widespread and occurs in a range of habitats, including arid ones.

Distribution of Litoria rubella
Atlas of Living Australia

In the narrative of the Horn Expedition to Central Australia (Through Larapinta Land), Baldwin Spencer remarked on the frogs along the Hugh River, an intermittent watercourse on the edge of the Simpson Desert:
The animal life was just the same as that to which we had grown accustomed around the water-holes amongst the ranges. A few species of insects and myriapods, and the little frog Hyla rubella were abundant under the stones close to the water...the little Hyla rubella was found at every water-hole from the Adminga Creek in the south to Alice Springs in the north, and westwards right throughout the ranges.
I'm not sure why I have L. rubella, while everyone else has L. serrata, but I am certain that the frog is happier to be here than in a spot near the middle of the map.

Spencer, B. (1896). Report on the work of the Horn Scientific Expedition to Central Australia: Part 1. London: Dulau and Co. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too have a Litoria rubella that visits my kitchen window most evenings. I live in Narrabri, NSW