Reef HQ Aquarium has been building a rainforest display for the last few months and it has reached the stage at which animals are introduced. This one surprised me:
The Green Tree Frog, Litoria caerulea, is very common around Townsville – indeed, all the wetter parts of Queensland – and it usually merits its common name. Here, for instance, is one in my garden:
The Wikipedia article does say, ‘Its color depends on the temperature and colour of the environment, ranging from brown to green,’ and we often see examples with a dull olive-green coloration but the one in Reef HQ in a (so far) black and grey-brown setting is the most extreme I have seen.
More information: frogs.org.au. The home page will take you to all sorts of useful or fun stuff about frogs.
The discovery should remind us how little we still know about the living world around us. We have been systematically naming and classifying creatures for nearly two hundred years but are still finding new animals, even quite large ones (e.g. the Saola), in remote areas and we are not even close to knowing all the insects around us. For instance, the introduction to CSIRO’s Australian Moths Online notes that, ‘There are about 22 000 species of Australian moths, of which only half have been described [i.e. scientifically identified] so far.’
We have no permanent water so we don’t often see frogs around our garden, except in the middle of wet seasons. That makes this little one a rather late (optimistic?) visitor. I found him, or her, yesterday, a couple of weeks after our monster Wet came to a sudden end.
About 30 mm long.
I don’t know, but probably one of the several similar small Tree Frogs (Litoria sp.) in our region. ID welcome!