I don’t actually own a pair of gumboots. That’s how much of an apartment-living, non-outdoor type of city gal I am. So when the PhD students who study Victorian frogs suggested I come on a field trip with them to a large frog pond I released a slow, drawn-out, reluctant, unsure but polite “okay”, thinking: I can still get out of this.
Yes, yours truly – the daring reporter, who intrepidly goes behind the scenes, ventures into hazardous laboratories and dares to go into collection stores where only a few museum staff and contracted cleaners ever go – was not keen about anything beyond Map 58 of the Melbourne road map directory. But this was a rare opportunity to go with tomorrow’s expert herpetologist where no “Access all Areas” had gone before.
So I confessed to the students the only frogs I am brave enough to hold are the chocolate ones I can buy from the I.T. staff canteen and went looking for gumboots. Luckily Dr Jo from marine invertebrates group found me a pair (thanks honey!).
Well … what a great night … I didn’t get to kiss the frog prince but I did get to hold hands.
Frog Princess for a night, Dr Andi
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Josh looking for frogs in the pond.| Katie makes contact with the Southern Brown tree frog (Litoria ewingi) | Andi holding hands with Katie and Litoria ewingi (the frog prince).
The Amphibian Research Centre (ARC) breeds a number of species of frog that can be purchased, either as tadpoles or frogs. The ARC provides information about enclosures,food, general care and licensing. School visits and support for your project can be arranged with the ARC (ph. 9354 4718). You will also need to obtain a licence from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE). An application form ‘Application for Wildlife Permit – Schools’ can be obtained from the DNRE website.
* The collection of frogs and tadpoles from the wild is prohibited in Victoria.
Museum Victoria Resources
Discover Victoria's wonderful frog fauna in Bioinformatics
Zoological Illustrations of frogs from Colonial Victoria in Caught & Coloured
A range of information sheets on Frogs of Victoria
Josh Hale – PhD student, Museum Victoria & University of Melbourne
Thesis topic: Human-induced changes in the genetic structure of amphibian populations (Growling Grass frog, Victorian common Froglet, the Southern Brown tree frog)
Katie Smith – PhD student, Museum Victoria & University of Melbourne
Thesis topic: Historical change in a hybrid zone: Evolution of the Hylid frogs, The Southern Brown tree frog (Litoria ewingi) and Plains Brown Tree frog (L. paraewingi).
Geoff Heard – PhD student, Museum Victoria & Latrobe University
Thesis topic: Conservation biology of the endangered Growling Grass frog (Litoria raniformis) in urbanising landscapes.
And thank you to Mr Ian Blair the owner of the urban frog pond
Archie Cuthbertson – Podcast Recording Services
Eleanor Brignell – MV volunteer and fabulous pod cast assistant
"Goo Goo eyes” by Jules Jordan 1905, Edison Cylinder Recording, from the Museum Victoria collection.
“MyNeedle” by Melbourne band The Orbweavers staring Marita Dyson, Assistant Collection Manager, History & Technology, Museum Victoria.