Eastern Banjo Frog (top photograph by PWS,
bottom photograph by Alex Dudley)
Also known as the Pobblebonk or Bull Frog, the Eastern Banjo Frog is a medium-sized, squat frog up to 65 mm long.The upper surface is rough, warty light to dark brown with darker brown blotches. The undersurface is smooth, off-white with darker grey to brown flecks. It is a
capable burrower, digging with its hind legs and descending backwards
into its burrow.
Breeding usually occurs in spring and summer. The female lays up to 3 900 eggs. Tadpoles can reach up to 90 mm in length and take anywhere between four and fifteen months to complete development. This variation is due to water temperature - metamorphosis is slower in colder conditions.
Its call has a remarkable, banjo-like sound and is heard in the spring and summer. Banjo frogs often call in groups, their calls running together, illustrating why the species is sometimes known as the "Pobblebonk frog". Males call from the cover of vegetation or while floating. (Audio recordings courtesy of Ron Nagorcka/Central North Field Naturalists)
Distribution and Habitat
Found throughout most of eastern Tasmania and to the north of Macquarie Harbour on the west coast. A different subspecies occurs on King Island. It
occurs in dams and lagoons in agricultural land and in coastal
wetlands. Sandy or friable loamy soils are preferred as these aid
burrowing - indeed, they are sometimes dug up in soil in gardens and pastures. Males have been known to migrate up to one kilometre to
reach breeding sites.