Thursday, 20 March 2014

A frog called Evita?

While watching TV tonight we were startled by a strange noise outside against the window.  When the Frogmouths come to dine on moths they don't usually make much, if any, noise.  Frances turned round and spotted a moderated sized frog  which occasionally jumped up the window to massacre an invertebrate.

Taking close-up photographs  through a window isn't great, but I didn't want to miss completely.  Of course if I had used flash all I'd have got was a white reflection.
It had moved off a little by the time I got outside but this flash shot gives an idea of size - perhaps 50mm nose to 'tail'.
 I got a bit closer with the flash.
 Obviously I wouldn't want to use a flash very close to the frogs eyes so turned it off and got this.  Definitely tree frog toes.
 Getting really up close there was definitely a cross shaped pupil so it is Peron's Tree Frog (Littoria peronii)
The species is known generally for a maniacal cackling call in the breeding season.

It seems that the species was first described by Francois Peron (1775 - 1810) in 1807. He gave it another Latin name, but another scientists gave it a species name, and a vernacular name in his honour!  The poor bloke died of TB at a very early age.

As far as I can determine he never visited Argentina - Baudin's voyage on which he visited Australia didn't cross the Pacific - let alone have Lloyd-Weber and Rice do a show about him.

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