Western Banjo Frog Aussie Oc, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Western Banjo Frog

Limnodynastes dorsalis

Did You Know?

  • First described in 1841
  • Endemic to an area surrounded by arid regions, where it became isolated by climate changes in the interior
FactBox Image

The motorbike frog is a ground-dwelling tree frog found in Southwest Australia. It gets its name from the male frog's mating call, which sounds like a motorbike riding past and changing gears. Other common names are Moore's frog, the western bell frog, western green and golden bell frog, and western green tree frog.

Back varies from pale brown to dark chocolate with areas of deep green or olive, red colouration in the groin and hind limbs.

Tadpoles

Large, black with deep tail fins.

Distinctive feature

Large protruding oval gland on the upper surface of the calf.

Size

Males 2.8 - 6.4 cm, females 5.4 - 7.3 cm.

Behaviour

Call

A deep and explosive “bonk”.

Listen to the Western Banjo Frog call © Dale Roberts

Diet

Mostly insects and worms.

Movement

Burrowing species that submerges itself during dry conditions.

Breeding

Spawn laid in winter and spring in a large foam nest on the surface of still or slowly moving water.

Species: WhatToObserve Image

What to Observe

  • Calling

  • Courting/Mating

  • The appearance of foamy egg masses

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

June to November (winter to spring)

Where To Look

 

  • Southwest and adjacent arid zone in Western Australia
  • Lower Murchison River south and east to Wattle Camp and inland to Falena, Moorine Rock, Lake Cronin, Peak Charles and Coragina Rock
  • Found in a variety of habitats including forests, swamps, grasslands, and the wheatbelt
  • Look and listen in vegetation near permanent water in winter
Species: WhatElse Image

What Else?

This frog can be distinguished from all other species of Limnodynastes by its distribution, being found only in south-western Australia.

The Eastern Banjo or Pobblebonk Frog (Limnodynastes dumerilli) can be found in the eastern states.