Striped Marsh Frog
- Colour: a pale to grey-brown back with darker brown stripes. Usually also a pale stripe running down the middle of its back. Its belly is white and often flecked with brown, and there are dark spots and stripes on its limbs.
- Its skin is smooth and its long, slender fingers and toes have no webbing.
- Its eggs are found within a foam raft that resembles beaten egg whites with pepper!
- Distinctive feature: a two-coloured iris that is golden brown above and dark brown below.
- Size: 4.5 cm to 7.5 cm.
- Call: males call while in or near water. Their call is a single, short “tuk” or “whuck” which is repeated every few seconds. It has been described as a popping sound, like a tennis ball being whacked, or a hammer striking an anvil.
- Diet: almost any animal smaller than itself, including moths, flies, ground-dwelling insects and other frogs.
- Movement: hides under logs, stones and leaf litter during the day, and is usually not far from permanent water.
- Breeding: occurs in permanent water more commonly in the warmer months. Males begin to call on land and then move into the water from where they usually call at night. Females lay their eggs in a floating foam of bubbles (often attached to vegetation) in the still waters of swamps, marshes, dams and ponds. The tadpoles hatch after a few days.
What to Observe
- 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
- From August through to April (main breeding season).
- Eggs are usually laid from September through to April.
- Listen for males calling at night.
Where To Look
- Within Australia, it is found along the east coast from northern Queensland to South Australia, including northern Tasmania. See distribution map below.
- Rainforests, forests, woodlands, shrub-lands and urban areas, where it visits slow-moving streams, marshes, dams, ponds, swamps and wetlands. It is very common in small backyard ponds. During the day it hides under logs, stones, leaf litter and debris.
- Look among reeds, debris and under fallen logs around wetlands and other permanent water, including urban ponds.
Barker, J, Grigg, GC and Tyler, MJ 1995. A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Sydney.
Cogger, HG 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books, Sydney.
- Spotted Marsh Frog: has spots rather than stripes on its back.
- Barking Marsh Frog: also has spots rather than stripes on its back.
- Salmon-Striped Frog: has pink-to-orange stripes and lacks the two-coloured iris.
Did You Know?
Females usually lay between 700 and 1000 eggs each year!
The Striped Marsh Frog is very adaptable and appears to be quite tolerant of polluted water.
The call recording is by David Stewart Naturesound
Listen to the Call