Pobblebonk Frog Limnodynastes dumerilii
Image: Peter Robertson
Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty. Ltd.
Question: We were in our garden last night when we heard a loud "bonk". It was just the single sound repeated every 10 seconds or so. It stopped when we got close, but we were quiet and it soon started up again. It was coming from under a huge pot plant, but it was too heavy to investigate further. What could it have been?
Answer: Usually we would need to see a photograph or the animal itself to identify something, but your description – a "Bonk" sound coming from under a pot plant – is a great clue!
There is a frog that lives in Melbourne called the Pobbleponk or Banjo Frog. It has a very distinctive call – a single "bonk", repeated at intermittent intervals. The males call year round, particularly after heavy rains (and we've certainly had heavy rain this week!).
The Pobblebonk is a burrowing species and is often encountered by gardeners. Its home under your pot plant is a good one – it won't dry out in hot weather and is well protected from predators (and curious investigators). If you do catch a glimpse of him, take a picture and send it into the Discovery Centre. We can then provide you with a definitive identification.
You're lucky to have frogs in your garden. If you'd like to encourage them, avoid using pesticides and keep that area of the garden moist in very dry weather.
If you'd like to learn more about frogs, visit the Melbourne Museum during the Summer School Holidays. Our theme these holidays is the Aboriginal creation story, Tiddalik the Thirsty Frog. There are live frogs on display, keeper talks, craft activities and a fabulous live performance.