The wonderful season of Makaru (winter) has arrived in the Perth Hills for 2011, and what a great start it’s been! Although we’ve all nearly forgotten what it is like to get proper rainfall, the months of June and July (so far) have given us a promising start to wash away the previous years of drought.
One of the first creatures to rekindle their lives after months of dryness are the Crinias, species of tiny frogs that make up for their size with their loud voices. At my dam in Parkerville there are now three, sometimes four species of Crinia that have moved in since I began revegetating it with wetland plants five years ago. (Well, technically three Crinias, one is a Geocrinia). Two of the species have begun breeding already, with the males calling loudly to attract mates. It’s such a pleasure to listen outside as dusk approaches and hear the place come ALIVE!
At the moment, the Bleating Froglet (Crinia pseudinsignifera) is dominating the ear drums, and I have spent a few evenings on my hands and knees in the mud locating them to photograph.Here is a male who has just ceased calling after I shone my headtorch on him :)
After snapping this shot, I was then THRILLED to find 2 males fighting - one had his jaws clamped onto the other’s abdomen, and was quite forcefully ‘asking’ him to move on and find his own place from which to call. Well, I’m sure if he could, he would ask politely!Next thing I knew the first male had flipped the other one on his back and really was asking his pal to get outa there!
Another species calling as loudly as the Bleaters is called the Clicking Froglet (Crinia glauerti), which is only about the size of a 5c piece (below). He makes a really loud rattling sound that makes your ears hurt if you get too close! After looking VERY hard in the mud I managed to photograph this little one trying to tell all the females that HE is the one for them!