Pobblebonk Frog Limnodynastes dumerilii

Frogs of Victoria series

Identification

The Pobblebonk (or Banjo) Frog, Limnodynastes dumerilii, gets its name from its distinctive “bonk” call. It is a fairly large species, growing to about 85 mm in length. It can be readily identified by the presence of a prominent tibial gland on each hind leg and a metatarsal tubercle on each hind foot. Three subspecies, L. dumerilii dumerilii, L. dumerilii insularis and L. dumerilii variegatus occur within the greater Melbourne area. These can be separated by their distribution and colour patterns. L. dumerilii insularis has a prominent pale vertebral stripe, which is absent in L. dumerilii dumerilii, and L. dumerilii variegatus is a uniform dark colour. The warty appearance of this frog sometimes causes people to mistake it for Cane Toad.

Photo of Pobblebonk or Banjo Frog, Limnodynastes dumerilii

Pobblebonk or Banjo Frog
Photographer: Peter Robertson / Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty. Ltd.

Distribution and habitat

L. dumerilii dumerilii is widespread over the western and northern areas around Melbourne, L. dumerilii insularis is found in the south-eastern areas, and L. dumerilii variegatus is restricted to the Otway Ranges. The frog is found in a variety of habitats. During periods of inactivity, this species burrows into the ground.

Biology

The diet consists of small invertebrates. The loud ‘bonk’ call is often heard in the suburbs. Females lay a large white floating raft of eggs in still permanent water such as dams and ponds. Tadpoles grow to a maximum length of 68 mm and take up to 15 months to complete development.

Further Reading

Barker, J., Grigg, G. and Tyler, M. J. 1995. A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Sydney.

Cogger, H. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books, Sydney.

Hero, J. M., Littlejohn, M. & Marantelli, G. 1991. Frogwatch Field Guide to Victorian Frogs. Department of Conservation and Environment, East Melbourne.

Tyler, M. J. 1992. Encyclopaedia of Australian Animals: Frogs. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.

Comments (81)

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Yianni 7 January, 2010 09:08
Hi. Theres a pond behind my house and i went and took a look at it yesterday and i found lots of tadpoles. I have taken tadpoles from there before and they turned into pobblebonks. But this time the tadpoles i found were Albino. Is it normal for tadpoles to be albino and should i take some and try raise them into frogs?
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Discovery Centre 7 January, 2010 16:00

Hi there, Yianni. For your information, The Department of Sustainability and the Environment states that it is not permissible to keep a wild-caught specimen as a pet, as dictated by the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and the Wildlife Act 1975. Ideally, you should leave tadpoles where you find them, as translocation of individual animals can disrupt local gene pools, and contribute to the spread of disease.

Furthermore, instances of albinoism in frogs are extremely rare, even in controlled environments, as described in scholarly journals TRSSA and the Journal of Heredity. Hope this helps!

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Sue 21 February, 2014 20:13
I did move some tadpoles into a new pond, they are pobblebonks, should I take the tadpoles out and put them back where I got them from?
Melissa 2 February, 2010 21:40
Hi, How long does an adult Pobblebonk live for and can a male live alone for a number of years? We have a single pobblebonk in our pond which calls almost all year around. Just a single plomk every few seconds, never with an answering call. Quite sad.
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Discovery Centre 3 February, 2010 16:58

Hi there. We would expect that a Pobblebonk may live up to 10 years. Some species of Australian frogs have been known to live to 20. Despite what our human emotions cause us to think, a lone Pobblebonk would not be sad. Pobblebonks are not social animals, and don’t relish the company of other frogs - so being alone should not affect its lifespan. The calling is to attract females (which do not call), so he may be having silent success without anyone knowing. (If a frothy egg-mass appears in the water, he is definitely having success). A second call would be that of a rival male. We can’t speak for that particular Pobblebonk, but if I was calling for a mate, the less competition the better!

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Emerald 10 March, 2010 16:08
We found a juvenile Pobblebonk,(approx 2cms), in our pets food bowl this morning. What is the best temporary habitat for it, until we can release it into the local wetlands, and is there anything we can feed it?
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Discovery Centre 15 March, 2010 12:25

Hi Emerald, thanks for your enquiry.  The Live Exhibits team recommend placing the frog back in the garden bed not far from where you found it.  Dig a small hole and let it burrow down.

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Peter Jolly 5 October, 2010 23:37
We have a pobblebonk frog in our pond, he/she comes back eack year, and has done so for about 4 years. Goes away in the winter and has just returned. Is it the same frog? I don't know, we assume so. You would know better than I. The bonking song is very pleasing for us.
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Discovery Centre 7 October, 2010 12:27
Hi Peter, It is great to have Pobblebonks around your backyard calling! I wouldn't be surprised at all that the same frog is calling each year from the same pond. Pobblebonks wouldn't necessarily be leaving your backyard when you don’t hear them. Rather they bury underground and hide away. It's only the male who's calling, so you may have a few in the backyard and can only currently hear the one that can call. A great way to see if he's having success is to check for a foamy mass on your pond that is full of tiny frogs eggs. If you have that turn up over the season you'll know that his calling has been successful and he's found a mate.
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Laura 14 October, 2010 11:03
Hi. I live along Skeleton Creek outside of Melbourne. We must have 1,000's of Pobblebonks near us, as the noise is extremely loud and numerous - quite deafing if you cycle near them. But I truly love the sound, and hear it nearly all year round. However at this time of year it is louder and constant. The other evening we were delighted to see a Pobblebonk under the caravan during a thunderstorm, and we were fascinated watching it hop around. Lovely creatures.... :)
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Darren 24 October, 2010 12:54
Hi, I have some tadpole eggs that the kids collected from one of our propety dams (Pobblebonk). They are currently in an icecream container with dam water inside. Some of the eggs are forming into Tadpoles. 1. Do they require additional oxygen in the water? 2. What do the kids feed them. They will be returned to the dam once they get larger but I am keen to foster an interest in the lifecycle first so that the kids can learn and respect the process.
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Chris 26 October, 2010 10:50
We have tadpoles in the clasroom and one is nearly a frog - we would like to observe it for a while yet. What do i feed the frog and how do I ensure it is happy in the tadpole tank. There are curently rocks for it to climb on. Do I need to set it up so it can bury? Do I need to feed it live crickets? Will it eat bread? Will it try to eat the tadpoles?
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Discovery Centre 27 October, 2010 10:33

Hi Darren, it is important to remember that keeping wildlife is illegal and they should be returned to the wild. Saying that – to keep them happy and healthy I can give you a few pointers.

  1. You will need to either change the dam water at regular intervals or provide good filtration for the tank they are being kept in. Either swap it for more dam water so that they are getting the same water as what they will be returned to. As they live in the ice cream tub of water they release lots of waste that needs to be removed from the enclosure. If you don’t live beside the dam to collect water – you may need to try to filter the water a little – you can buy small filters that would work well in a small enclosure from pet shops.
  2. To feed growing tadpoles – purchase some lettuce – give it a really good rinse and freeze it. Freezing it will break down the cell walls and open up all the nutrients for the tadpoles to munch on. Drop in small amounts of pre-frozen lettuce daily. They also enjoy feeding on all the algae that will rapidly grow on the lettuce.
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Diane Hunt 12 November, 2010 15:10
Hi I have a property in a semi rural area on Phillip Island. I know the burrowing frog is common in this area and I have come across some while gardening. About 6 to 8 weeks ago I noticed what I thought were frog eggs and lots of young mosquitos in an old double concrete laundry tub, since then the eggs have hatched and conservatively I have counted about 80 tadpoles at this stage no legs. Intially I was concered there was no food in the trough as I know we cleaned it out in winter so I have been feeding them a fish food once a week for the last 4 weeks, now reading your websight and if they are the burrowing frog and if they take 15 months to become frogs they will not survive in this trough and on the fish food there is some nasturtian leaves that drop into the water. My questions are. Do they eat the mosquito lavee? How can I identify the species? What should I do to ensure their survival I have a dam about 300 mts away and a trough about 20 mts away fed with dam water nothing obvious growing in it. Hope you can help. regards Diane
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Barb Tyler 15 November, 2010 11:47
After last year's silence & this year's rain,it's great to be hearing a full pobblebonk orchestra at the entrance to Edwards Point, Vic.
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Discovery Centre 15 November, 2010 12:56

Hi Chris, if you have Pobblebonk tadpoles / frogs it is good to remove your frogs as they metamorphose and transfer them to an enclosure that they can burrow underground and rest. Your frog has a very different diet to the tadpoles – they eat insects and any other small animals they can fit into their mouths. I would recommend that you either collect some invertebrates from your school grounds – such as crickets, cockroaches, grasshoppers etc or you can purchase crickets from lots of pet shops. Newly emerged frogs tend to have quite small stomachs so small meals (i.e. 1 – 2 food items) every one to two days.

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Discovery Centre 15 November, 2010 13:23

Hi Diane tadpoles have some great survival strategies to help them live in adverse conditions – even in a laundry tub. You should find that some of them will grow quite quickly and all four legs will pop out and they will metamorphose into frogs at a rapid rate – other tadpoles may stay as tadpoles for more than 12 months. This is a strategy to divide the emergence of the young between two years to increase the chance of some surviving to reproduce. If they are burrowing frogs, such as Pobblebonks they may find it hard to climb out of a laundry tub – the best thing you can do is provide a platform and branch for them to climb out of the water and onto land when they become frogs. As to what they eat – tadpoles will feed on algae and other things they can scrape of the plants and walls of the pond. Here at the museum we freeze pieces of lettuce that we then add to the tadpoles enclosures so they can feed. Here are links to the Live Exhibits blog that shows photos of Pobblebonk egg masses (which sit above the water) and Pobblebonk tadpoles just before they leave the water to become frogs.

Great weather for frogs!

Pobbles Grow Up

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Laura 19 November, 2010 22:44
we always get pobblebonks in our backyard pond and it is nice to hear them at night. 1. There is many goldfish in the pond, could this be a potential issue? The fish eat their eggs. 2. About 20m from the pond is our swimming pool. For some reason some individuals leave the pond and go swimming in the pool. This is ok but they get caught in the skimmer box and make noise until we get them out. Could the chlorine be bad for them? How do we keep them in the pond?
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Discovery Centre 2 December, 2010 13:42

Hi Laura,

 Great questions about your frogs. The first question about how goldfish affect frogs and eggs is – yes they do enjoy eating eggs and tadpoles so you need to be careful when you introduce these fish into a pond system. If you wanted to be good to the frogs you could try some local fish such as Southern Pygmy Perch that are not interested in feeding on the young tadpoles and they are local to the Melbourne region. The second question about them jumping into your pond – chlorine does not go all that well with frogs but if you can get them out quickly enough they may be fine. If they are pobblebonk frogs, or other frogs with claws rather than pads on their fingers that will really struggle to climb out of a pond – adding a ramp for them to climb onto and out of the water is a great solution to help. If they do however have pads on the end of their toes they are tree frogs and should be able to use these pads to climb up the wall – although a ramp to escape would also help. Best of luck

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Jon Haworth 15 January, 2011 21:02
Hi....we found this frog in our garage,when I almost stood on it! However, the little blighter is now causing much commotion in our house as we can decide whether its a Pobblebonk or a Common Spadefoot Toad! Can you clarify what it is please?! Heres a link to the picture I took... http://www.flickr.com/photos/46538523@N02/5356216835/ Oh, and he was let free to hop off into the garden straight after the pick was taken.
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Discovery Centre 19 January, 2011 10:38
Hi Jon, whoever said Pobblebonk Frog is correct.
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Maddie 20 January, 2011 17:07
Hi our friends have heaps of very large tadpoles in their pond. We do hear the male call every night. What should we do because we can barely sleep with one. let alone 3,900!!!!!!!
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Discovery Centre 4 March, 2011 08:38

Hi Maddie, I don’t think you need to be worried about having 3,900 frogs all calling from your backyard. The number of tadpoles that actually make it through to becoming frogs is very tiny – many will die before maturing. Within your pond ecosystem the tadpoles feed on the algae and plant matter and are quite low on the food chain. This means they can exist in quite large numbers before competing for food. Frogs on the other hand are predators and need other animals in which to feed upon. Other animals such as bugs tend to be harder to come by than algae so they cannot exist in such large numbers.

I think you will be lucky to have a big population of frogs calling from your yard – with pobblebonks it often tends to only be a few individuals calling from a single pond each season.

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Paula 27 March, 2011 19:02
Hi Upon arriving home after a couple of days away, it appears that a frog may have moved into our dogs outdoors drinking bowl (Icecream container), under a dripping tap. Have heaps of bubble like formations in the container,around the edges, attached to the scum in the container. We often see common garden frogs around our garden, esp after rain. Do you think that it could be frog eggs & if so, how long would it be before hatching? Should I place a wire cover over the container to protect a little more? Kids are watching with excitement, dog needs a new water container!
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Emma 20 April, 2011 20:02
Is the pobblebonk deadly
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Discovery Centre 9 May, 2011 11:19

Hi Emma - the Pobblebonk isn't deadly (except to the small invertebrates that form its diet), however we certainly don't reccommend licking it! You can find out more about this interesting species from the following links:

To hear the frog call, the “bonk”, and another unusual photo, see: http://museumvictoria.com.au/bioinformatics/frog/images/dumelive3.htm

Try also: http://frogs.org.au/frogs/species/Limnodynastes/dumerili/

Hope this helps!

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Andrew 29 May, 2011 18:40
Hi I have set up a pond in our backyard with the intention of creating a frog friendly habitat & ecosystem, I bought 15 Murray River Rainbow fish as they are not supposed to eat frog eggs & they also keep the mosquitoes under control, these 15 fish have now populated to about 100 so they must be happy. I planted native plants around the pond to attract insects for the frogs to eat and now the pond is ready for the frogs, so my question is where can I buy pobblebonks & do I need a license? thanks.
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Sean 21 October, 2012 14:24
For reasons of disease prevention you are not allowed to release captive frogs. But don't worry wild frogs will find their own way to your pond. Depending on the size of your pond 100 fish might be too many, sometimes with overcrowding they will eat frog eggs.
Kim Reed 23 September, 2011 23:03
I have 4 banjo frogs together and I've never heard them make any noise. They burrow themselves during day and come out late at night. Why don't my frogs make noise the only noise I hear is off them moving around.
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Discovery Centre 25 September, 2011 09:15

Hi Kim, there are several possible reasons your frogs are not making noise.

Firstly, they may be juveniles or may all be females. In this case they either won't be calling yet or won't be calling at all. Secondly, the conditions may not be right for calling, particularly if the substrate is too dry or the wrong type.

It might be difficult to determine the exact cause of the issue but you could try the following things. Use cocopeat as a substrate if you're not doing so already, or swap the substrate for fresh substrate, whatever you're using. Add more moisture to the enclosure, at least temporarily, to encourage them to think it's raining. Add live food or a variety of crickets/cockroaches/flies to stimulate activity.

Good luck with your frogs and we hope this helps.

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Ross 7 October, 2011 20:23
Hi, we have had a Banjo frog in our fish pond for the last two or so years. They do mate as they have the foam raft but no tadpoles seem to survive. This year we have 3 banjo frogs and more rafts, I have put them in still water, one with pond water in a polystyrene box, the other in a still part of the pond with no fish. Just wondering how deep that water needs to be? Also if they do survive and we end up with lots of frogs, what should we do with them? Cheers Ross
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Discovery Centre 14 October, 2011 16:51

Hi Ross. Good question! We contacted our Live Exhibits department and they provided us with the following information:

The fish in the pond is the most likely reason that no tadpoles are surviving. Pobblebonk tadpoles are generally really hardy and will survive in just about anything so we believe they are being eaten.

Ideally in an outside pond you need varying water depths. Shallow areas where the tadpoles have access to good sunlight and higher temperatures, as well as deeper sections to get away from threats and to retreat to if it is excessively warm. Water depth should be 45 – 60 cm with some shallower areas. 

The frogs in the foam box will have to be fed on frozen lettuce, bok choy or spinach leaves and will take quite a lot of work. We would suggest that if you really want to encourage frogs to breed in the pond then removing the fish or swapping to some frog-friendlier types would be the best solution. Species such as Murray River Rainbows or White Clouds are a good choice.

Any froglets that emerge must be left to disperse naturally. It is illegal to translocate frogs as you may be spreading things such as chytrid fungus. It can also affect the genetic integrity of frog populations.

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Wendi 8 December, 2011 15:27
Hi My pobblebonk has at last had success and there are spawn in my fish pond. I have a second pond with only tiny fish (whiteclouds) and would like to relocate the spawn otherwise the comets will eat the tadpoles. How do I safely remove from the pond? the spawn is tucked up against rocks by the cascade.
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Discovery Centre 17 December, 2011 13:27

Hi Wendi,
Pobblebonk spawn can be gently picked up by cupping both hands underneath and lifting it up. Alternatively you can use a small net to do the same. Transfer it to a bucket or container and then gently tip it into the new pond. Pobblebonk eggs are generally safe to leave in with White Clouds as the tadpoles will quickly grow too big for them to eat. Even if they do eat some they are unlikely to eat them all.

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Kathryn 27 December, 2011 20:07
I've been digging over a garden bed and discovered what might be a Pobblebonk. I was a bit surprised to find it there but don't want to do anything which might harm it. I'd like to take a few plants out & dig over the bed completely. I live in the Rutherglen township although on the outer edge. Should I move it across the road to the paddock or will it just come back. I like hearing frogs but am concerned about snakes coming for frogs, and whether I've disturbed a nest or whatever? It's in a corner of garden where I'd quite happily leave it if that's ok.
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Discovery Centre 30 December, 2011 10:59

Hi Kathryn, 

We forwarded your questions to Museum Victoria’s animal keepers, who responded with the following:

Pobblebonks are common in certain situations throughout their range – the subspecies you have in Rutherglen is the Eastern Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii dumerilii). These situations include gardens, where the soil is often moist and a range of plant species attract a range of invertebrate species. So your garden is more attractive to frogs than a paddock across the road, and if you relocate the frog it will most likely return at the first opportunity. Females lay their eggs in ponds and dams, but do not make a nest as such.  Pobblebonks will bury themselves underground during periods of inactivity, or even just during the day. Once uncovered, they will rebury themselves as soon as possible.

Snakes can be attracted to frogs, but generally only if frogs are present in large numbers. They are usually more attracted to water bodies, for the water itself rather than the frogs. There will probably be snakes in the area anyway, and a few Pobblebonks will not make your garden any more or less attractive.

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Helen 1 January, 2012 14:11
I was given 5 Pobblebonks as pets..I have set them up in a large tank with a water section and rocks, branches and pebbles. 1 is definately a male as he bonks like mad! The others take it in turns to jump into the water with him. I have been advised to use Orchid Potting Mix in the dry part of their tank is this correct. Also am I breaking the law by keeping these delightful creatures?
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Discovery Centre 2 January, 2012 12:30
Hi Helen, our Live Exhibits staff use a substrate of coco peat which is readily available. You expand it with water and then leave it about 15 cm deep in the enclosure for them to burrow into. Make sure you keep it damp; they don't use orchid mix as they find it too airy and too dry and hard.

As for keeping the frogs you don't need a licence to keep pobblebonks for private purposes, provided they have come from a lawful source. It is not legal to take them from the wild. If they came from the wild then ideally release them back where they came from. We feed our pobblebonks three times a week and one of those feeds we dig them up and make sure they eat. Otherwise, we dust the crickets etc in vitamins and leave them on the surface overnight.

 

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ian 5 January, 2012 16:48
i am from central west nsw.over the last few weeks we have been finding 20-25 mm holes in our lawn. there is always a pile of clay oround each hole. we probably have found 20 holes could these holes have been made by burrowing frogs
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Neil 8 January, 2012 01:34
Hi, A few nights ago I counted 10 Pobblebonks in our backyard, a record so far for us in Bendigo. Some observations on burrowing. Mostly they burrow just below the surface, sometimes they just hide under leaves,pots or anything. The holes are only as wide as the frog itself. As it is a burrowing frog, it moves the dirt from behind/below it to in front/above it and it burrows backwards (read end first). Sometimes it will burrow under our pebble garden. Always be careful of digging in garden beds or vege patches as over the years unfortunately we have impaled a couple of pobblebonks with the garden fork. Also they don't stay buried in the same place, they tend to roam but will come back to "favourite" places.
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Discovery Centre 29 January, 2012 16:53

Hi Lorna, the incubation period for Banjo Frog eggs can be as little as four days, but they can remain as tadpoles for up to 15 months. Both time periods depend greatly on the ambient temperature at the time.

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chantelle 21 February, 2012 08:47
Hi, we have a poddlebonk in our backyard pond. we have our goldfish in there and are just worried that the frog will eat our baby fish. will this be a problem? because we were worried we caught it and took it to a nearby bigger pond but it returned the same night and we don't want to get rid of it again.
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Discovery Centre 27 February, 2012 11:10
Hi Chantelle, As far as we know, there are no records of Pobblebonk Frogs eating fish. The goldfish, even babies, are likely to be outside the normal diet of Pobblebonks – their normal diet is worms and insects. The fish, however, are likely to eat the Pobblebonk eggs (if the frogs manage to breed in your pond).
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banjo frogs 15 March, 2012 16:59
i live in adelaide and purchased 3 banjo frogs and 2 marsh frogs. I have soil and gravel in the tank with a small water hole, is this ok or should i replacethe soil and gravel with coco peat. Also how much should i feed them and how often, can you over feed them ?. Any information would be appreciated as i want to give them the best conditions possibble. thanks, glenn
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Discovery Centre 30 March, 2012 11:57

Hi Glenn,

We forwarded your question to the Museum's Live Exhibits team and they provided the following information:

Banjo Frogs will eat Marsh Frogs unless they are well fed themselves. But if you keep the food up to the Banjos, this shouldn't be a problem. Coco peat is best for burrowing species such as Banjo Frogs, but fine gravel will work just as well and is easier to clean. Soil is not particularly good as the acidity is wrong and soil tends to turn 'sour' over time with constant watering and accumulation of wastes. Frogs tend to stop eating when they are full so you are unlikely to overfeed them, but they are easily underfed. An adult frog will take 8-12 medium-sized crickets per week, and they are best fed three times a week or so. That is 2-4 crickets per feed, and this should only take a minute or two.

John 7 August, 2012 23:05
Hello, I have a banjo frog and he loves to burrow but because hes nocturnal i dont get to see him come out, i was just wondering how often do they come up out of there holes.
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Discovery Centre 17 August, 2012 13:06
Hi John, The Museum Victoria Bioinformatics site for Banjo Frogs shows that, in Victoria, this frog is active from September through to April. Banjo Frogs spend most of the year hidden in burrows in sandy soils near dams, wetlands and rivers. They are heard more often than seen. They come out of their burrows only after good rains to feed and call to attract females. The Department Primary Industries webpage on Code of Practice for the Welfare of Amphibians in Captivity provides useful information on keeping these frogs.
Denise 14 October, 2012 10:45
Is this a banjo frog? When we bought some plants these tadpoles came with it. I keep hearing this may be a banjo frog. Here are the pictures. http://www.flickr.com/photos/88587635@N02/ Thank you very much.
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Will 7 November, 2012 12:22
Hi, We have been seeing a few eastern banjo frogs in our backyard pond lately. Is there a method for deterring them from coming to the pond. And how do we move the current frogs from our pond. Is translocation an option and if so how far? Thanks.
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Discovery Centre 8 November, 2012 13:02

Hi Will, the Department of Sustainability and Environment doesn’t recommend relocating animals for a number of reasons (http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/plants-and-animals/native-plants-and-animals/problem-wildlife), and in some cases it is illegal to do so. The only way to keep them out would be to build a fence around the pond or to drain the pond. If your concern is the noise they make but you still want a pond, you could drain the current one, fill it in, and construct another pond further away from the house.

Having said that, many people build ponds in their backyard specifically to attract frogs, and many wait long periods before they are finally blessed with their presence.

Angela 7 November, 2012 21:44
This is fantastic to hear that there are so many Pobblebonks out there! We have just moved from a farm with lots of dams,in the Dandenongs, and we always heard tons of Southern Brown Tree Frogs, but only rarely heard Pobblebonks.Keep up the great frog spotting everyone!
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Jan 11 November, 2012 19:17
This is a FANTASTIC website - well done!; it just helped me identify the frogs that I dig up in my veggie garden every so often - pobblebonks! I'd heard the name pobblebonk, but I honestly thought it was just the title of a children's picture story book named after the sound the frog made.
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Bruce 4 December, 2012 21:34
Wanting to (hopefully) attract frogs to my bushy Flemington garden. Have a half wine barrel that I will put plants and some small native fish in to keep the mozzies down. Two questions... Do you think wine residue on the barrel will dissuade frogs and at 50cm high, is the barrel too high to let them in? I thought of draping fronds from a nearby fern over the edge. Great website. Thanks for all the fantastic info.
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Discovery Centre 9 December, 2012 11:13

Hi Bruce, the residue in the wine barrel should not be a problem for the frogs. Any active compounds will have evaporated long ago and others will be diluted by the water. It would be safest to rinse it once or twice before use. Make sure that if you use other material to waterproof or re-waterproof the barrel, you'll need to give it an opportunity to off-gas and shoud rinse it well once again.

Fifty centimetres may be a bit high for some frogs, particularly the smaller ground-dwelling species, but if the habitat is desirable they will find a way in, particularly if foliage is draped over the sides. Frogs are accustomed to water being at or below ground level, but many will climb short distances and some common species, such as Peron's Tree Frogs, are regularly found high on tree trunks. If you need the barrel to remain intact for aesthetic purposes, the frogs will adapt if they find the habitat appealing enough.

Serge 10 February, 2013 14:02
Hi, I have been seeing small frog or two in my garden in Melton Vic for the pass few days in the cracks in clay. Last night I came across two big frogs that I first thought was a cane toad but identified from your site as eastern banjo frog. Couldn't believe how big they were and I ended up puting them in a newly watered area of my garden. My question is what kind of pond can a built using a pond liner to keep these frogs multiplying here in my garden. My house is not particularly close to any permanent water source. Any tips would be appreciated?
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Discovery Centre 14 February, 2013 09:38

Hi Serge, if you have frogs already coming to your garden, it suggests you may not need a pond. Banjo Frogs and Common Froglets (the two species you most likely have) will live in moist ground or under logs or rocks, or around and under plant pots. A pond will help keep them and possibly attract other species, but for these two it’s not completely necessary.

The type of pond liner will depend on your budget and how long you want it to last. Black plastic liners will do the job, but plastic and fibreglass custom-made ponds will last longer, and concrete or similar material will last a very long time. You can make a usable pond by inserting a plastic tub into the ground, as long as it’s childproof. Unlike other animal groups, frogs don’t seem to mind what the pond is made from. The other important aspect is to put logs and rocks around the pond to give the frogs somewhere to hide that is moist and well sheltered.

Lesley 1 March, 2013 22:06
I have a Pobblebonk living in my small pond, also there are Spotted Marsh Frogs calling incessantly . Every now and then I hear someone calling like a Barking Marsh Frog. I have just heard that Pobblebonks will make that sound sometimes though I can't find reference to it elsewhere. What do you think it might be? I live near Seymour.
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Discovery Centre 4 March, 2013 15:22

Hi Lesley - we checked with our Curator of Herpetology, who has responded as follows:

The Spotted March frog has two call races ..... the northern call race (central/eastern Victoria) has been described as sounding a bit like a machine gun with a series of distinct clicks, while the southern call race sounds like two stones being clicked together. I’m not sure where the change between the two occurs but it could be around Seymour – perhaps the enquirer has both races of Spotted Marsh Frogs in their area. An example of both calls can be heard here 

Zane 7 August, 2013 09:50
Hi, I am doing an assignment on the pobblebonk and would like to know some good resources to look at to understand the different sub-species ecological differences with some more depth than the info you have on this web page. All help is greatly appreciated!
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chris 24 August, 2013 02:16
Hi have noticed what I believe to be eastern dwarf tree frogs at braeside park and have heard reports of them turning up in peoples ponds se suburbs.small thumb nail sized mostly green flanked with distinctive loud call.
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Faye 21 September, 2013 23:00
Every now & again (like today) I find frog/s in my garden. Usually they are Pobblebonks, but I have found Spotted Marsh frogs as well. I want to build a pond to encourage them to stay as I love frogs. Any suggestions about what sort of material I should make the pond out of & what sort of plants should I plant around it.
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Discovery Centre 25 September, 2013 11:49

Hi Faye - we checked with our Live Exhibits folk, and they've responded as follows:

Frog ponds have become very popular in recent years and consequently there is a vast amount of information available on the internet. Three good sites are listed below, but there are many more once you start searching.

Pobblebonks (Limnodynastes dumerilii) will burrow into the soil around the pond more so than using the pond itself.

Good resources can be found here, here and here

Lina 13 October, 2013 14:40
Hi, I was digging the mud to plant my plants and a frog jumped out, kids want to keep it, so I got a tall container, put mud in it.. Is this enough to keep it alive?
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Discovery Centre 18 October, 2013 10:13

Hi Lina, the Department of Environment and Primary Industry states that it is not permissible to keep a wild-caught specimen as a pet, as dictated by the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and the Wildlife Act 1975.

Ron Young 16 October, 2013 10:26
My granddaughter brought home a raft of Pobblebonk eggs from a dam just a few hundred metres away. I understand that it is illegal, but we put them into our pond, and watched them over 10 days or so change from black dots to wriggling tiny tadpoles. The jelly like raft disappeared, as I assume they digested it, and as they hatched, they swam to the bottom. There were some hundreds of eggs initially, but within two days of hatching starting, I can only find 1 or 2 taddies alive, and none dead, in spite of covering the pond with wire mesh to protect them from birds. Do tadpoles eat each other, or can you suggest any other reason? I's quite a new pond, plastic lined and about 500 mm deep, 1000mm x 600mm surface area.
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Discovery Centre 18 October, 2013 11:42
Hi Ron, tadpoles eat a wide variety of food in the wild - whatever's edible that can be found in a pond. Once they reach a certain size, tadpoles will feed on small invertebrates such as mosquito larvae, but the rest of the diet largely comprises algae, freshwater plankton and decaying organic matter. In particular circumstances, when some tadpoles are bigger than others and there is no other food available, they become cannibalistic.The fact that your pond is new and unlikely to have much algae or other food suggests that they may have started eating each other.

In captivity they can be feed a range of food such as egg yolk, vegetables, non-citrus fruits and baby food, but the most successful food is boiled lettuce.

Kylie 17 October, 2013 13:41
We had a male Poddlebonk come visit our backyard pond, calling frequently for a couple of weeks. He is now quiet but we have a lowely raft of eggs. I am worried as this is a fish pond with a filter and goldfish. I don't want to stop the filter as the fish will die, but I am worried the tadpoles will be drawn into the filter and die too. Can I cover the filter intake with a fine mesh to protect the tadpoles? any other ideas?
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Discovery Centre 19 October, 2013 10:02
Hi Kylie, it's a good idea to cover the filter, which can be done with any-sized mesh that is smaller than the tadpoles. If the mesh is small and fine, you'll need to check it occasionally to make sure it doesn't get clogged by debris.

The main threat to the tadpoles is the golfish. If the goldfish remain in the pond, you could expect the tadpole numbers to decrease over time.

Barbara 23 October, 2013 16:22
I have a pond in the backyard and there been Peron Cackle frogs calling there for the last 3or 4 yrs. However this year they haven't been calling, instead there are now Pobblebonk frogs calling. Does that mean they have chased away the Peron Cackle frogs?
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bob 14 November, 2013 13:39
why do they sound like "pobblebonk" its weird and i hear them at night in greenbank
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Jules Ryan 24 November, 2013 08:40
To the wonderful folk at the discovery centre, this is a fabulous resource. Thank you so much. Hooray for frogs ❤️
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jamie 4 December, 2013 23:35
hi guys, I was on the D.E.P.I site and I'm unable to read the taxa list (pc problems) I was wondering since the new format with the D.P.I and the D.S.E conjoining did the regulations (schedule 4 I think) change with pobblebonks i.e. do you now require a licence to keep them or are they still under the same schedule as blue tongues, Cunningham's skinks, southern brown terr frogs etc, any help would be appreciated and great work on this site :)
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Discovery Centre 24 December, 2013 09:17
Hi Jamie, Pobblebonks (Limnodynastes dumerilii) don’t appear on either the Basic or Advanced Licence on the DEPI website, which can be found here:

 

Louella 16 December, 2013 18:23
I have received a pobblebonk for a present and I would like to know if its a girl or a boy. is there a way of finding out without going too personal?
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Louella 16 December, 2013 18:34
sorry, im here again, just asking my banjo frog has a water aquarium and im wondering when do I make it land with a small pond of water? he has a small stump of tail left if that helps.
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Michelle 9 January, 2014 21:57
We have four pobblebonk frogs living in a pond by our front door. The pond is surrounded by fernery and the vegetation is suffering from scale and mites. We wanted to spray the ferns with white oil but are concerned that this will affect the frogs- what can we safely spray our plants without affecting the frogs?
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Discovery Centre 16 January, 2014 11:05

Hey Michelle,

White oil is a suffocant rather than a toxin - that is, it suffocates the insects by blocking their spiracles, rather than poisoning them. It is therefore one of the least harmful insecticides and one of the more environmentally friendly. White oil was traditionally made from vegetable oil but modern versions are made from petroleum.

Frogs are very sensitive to insecticides, particularly in the tadpole stage. White oil is not considered biodegradable, and the product's material safety data sheet (MSDS) recommends not using it near waterways, mainly because toxological studies have not been done on aquatic animals.

If you're keen to use white oil, perhaps you could make your own version from vegetable oil - there are a number of simple recipes available on the internet.

Layla 23 August, 2014 14:44
Would it be ok is I were to put gold fish with pobblebonks as a pet or is that bad.also can I keep them in victoria
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Discovery Centre 4 September, 2014 12:47
Hi Layla - we checked with our staff in the Live Exhibits and they've indicated that standard goldfish will not harm adult Pobblebonks but they will eat the eggs and tadpoles. Pobblebonks don't require a permit in Victoria, but it's illegal to collect them from the wild.
Natasha 13 September, 2014 19:51
Hi I found a banjo frog today in my front yard just sitting on the path. I would like to release it back to the wild but I'm not sure where I can let him go. I fear my front yard is not suitable as I have almost 3 year old twins who dig I the garden and run around the front. I do have a pond in my backyard but I have 6 chickens that freerange in the backyard. The closest natural wetland is probably 5km away. Is it OK to release it there? We are smack bang in the middle of suburbia, Cranbourne.
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Discovery Centre 22 September, 2014 14:28
Hi Natasha, Our Live Exhibits manager says that chickens are opportunistic feeders that will eat almost anything, including small frogs. However, Pobblebonks (Limnodynastes dumerilii) live mostly underground, deeper than where the chickens would find them, and their movements above ground tend to be at night when the chickens are not active. Although chickens might take a small individual, fully-grown Pobblebonks are generally too large for a chicken to tackle.

It's not a good idea (and not legal) to move the frogs to another location. The Pobblebonks have made their own way to your yard and obviously consider it a reasonably good habitat.