With the long awaited arrival of the recent rains, an old visitor returned to our garden. I do believe it is the same frog I wrote about him a few years back: –
I had a delightful green visitor in my garden. I found him hiding in the inner dark and cool realms of a motor scooter’s seat compartment, where he has been, apparently riding back and forth to the local train station for perhaps, several weeks. My daughter took some shots seen here, naming him Mr Schneider! Not sure of the reason for that. She is quite imaginative.
Scientific Name: Litoria caerulea
This frog is native to Australia and introduced to New Zealand.
He is quite a cute character who can apparently live up to 16 years. The males are smaller than the females and are the only ones to produce he characteristic croak at night, especially in summer when they breed.
The presence of frogs in the garden, it is said, is a good indicator of the health of the local environment and as such, I was really pleased to see this little guy. He is of course very welcome if he is keen on eating all the spiders, cockroaches and insects that make us cringe.
While commonly seeking shelter and availing themselves of still water in human habitats, like toilet bowls, potplants, tanks and swimming pools, an interesting fact is that frogs can scream to ward off predators, and change colour according to their mood, much like a chameleon. Even in the short space of time we observed him, he certainly seemed to lighten in colour.
It is important to remember and to teach kids, that the touch of a dry human hand is extremely caustic to these frogs, indeed most frogs, so you must always have wet hands when handling them.
Our task this morning was just to guide him to a safe spot, no more hitchhiking on the motor scooter. So whilst capturing him on the old digital camera, he headed for the pot-plants in the window boxes on the front wall, and after a light mist with the garden hose, he squeezed himself into the hole in the side of the self watering pots.
The main danger to the green tree frog is the destruction of its habitat through wetland clearance and drainage.
We can all support the habitat of frogs by welcoming them into our garden.
And that is something every single one of us needs to ponder about.
Less frogs= more insects= indications that the environment is suffering.