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  1. 111 Photo by Nicola Mitchell

Motorbike Frog

Litoria moorei

Appearance

  • Colour: Back is green with gold mottling (after basking in sunlight).  Can be almost dark brown in colder conditions. The underside usually ranges from very pale green to light brown.
  • Tadpoles: Large translucent yellow with darker areas. As they develop they become darker with deep fins and a pointed tail tip.
  • Distinctive feature: A dark stripe runs from the snout, over the eye and tympanum (tight membrane covering the entrance to the ear) to the forearm insertion.
  • Size: males 4.7 – 7.1cm, females 5.3 – 7.8cm

Behaviour

  • Call: Has two components.  The first sounds like a long low growl - similar to a motorbike changing gears, the second part sounds like a series of low growls
  • Diet: Mainly arthropods but also smaller frogs same species juveniles.  Tadpole diet is mainly algae
  • Movement: Despite being a tree frog rarely climbs higher than one or two metres.
  • Breeding: Starts in early spring and can continue into summer.  A large number of eggs are laid in clumps attached to floating or slightly submerged vegetation.  Larvae can be found throughout summer.  Metamorphosis is often as late as April.  Tadpoles are dark with deep fins and a pointed tail tip.

What to Observe

  • Calling
  • Courting/mating
  • The appearance of eggs

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

  • We expect frogs to start calling and laying eggs earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth.
  • They may also start appearing in new areas as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them.

When To Look

September through to April

Where To Look

  • In Southwest region of WA.
  • From Murchison river south and east to Pallinup River.  Inland to Three Springs, Dalwallinu and Lake Dumbleyung.  A small population is present on Rottnest Island.
  • In permanent water bodies that have lots of vegetation
  • Look and listen around swamps, lakes, dams and backyard ponds and swimming pools.

Motorbike Frog Occurrence Map ALA

References

 

Tyler, M. J. & Doughty P. 2009 Field Guide to Frogs of Western Australia Western Australian Museum

 

Bush, B, Maryan, B, Browne-Cooper, R and Robinson, D 2007 Reptiles and Frogs in the Bush: Southwestern Australia University of Western Australia

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  1. What Else?

    Litoria cyclorhyncha: doesn’t have the blue-green colour in its groin, instead it is replaced by bold black and white spots.

  1. Did You Know?

    In mating season the male develops black nuptial pads that enable it to cling to the female’s back during amplexus (a form of pseudocopulation)

    Early stage tadpoles sometimes swim in schools

    Motorbike frog call recording by Dale Stewart, University of Western Australia

  1. Listen to the Call

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