Limnodynastes tasmaniensis Click to enlarge image
Spotted Grass Frog 16.11 Image: G A Hoye
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    tasmaniensis
    Genus
    Limnodynastes
    Family
    Myobatrachidae
    Order
    Anura
    Subclass
    Lissamphibia
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    4.5 cm

Introduction

The Spotted Marsh Frog is usually the first frog to colonise new dams, ditches and water-covered areas on disturbed ground.

Identification

The Spotted Marsh Frog is quite small and usually a grey-green or brown colour with irregular dark patches. These colours vary and it sometimes has a light-coloured stripe running down its back.


Limnodynastes tasmaniensis
Spotted Marsh Frog - Limnodynastes tasmaniensis Image: Glenn Shea/Gerry Swan
© Australian Museum

Habitat

The Spotted Marsh Frog lives in urban areas, forests and woodlands, and freshwater habitats in heath.

Distribution

The Spotted Marsh Frog is found throughout eastern Australia.



Other behaviours and adaptations

This frog is adaptable and well suited to urban environments. It is usually the first frog to colonise new dams, ditches and water-covered areas on disturbed ground.

Communication

The Spotted Marsh Frog can be heard throughout the year, calling with a distinctive machine-gun-like 'uk-uk-uk' repeated at regular intervals.

Life history cycle

During spawning, the female Spotted Marsh Frogs make a floating foam or bubble raft in which the fertilised eggs are suspended. The tadpoles hatch after a few days and drop into the water as the nest-raft disintegrates.


Spotted Marsh Frog Life cycle, Limnodynastes tasmaniensis
The life cycle of a Spotted Marsh Frog, Limnodynastes tasmaniensis Image: Andrew Howells
© Australian Museum

Spotted Marsh Frogs are amphibians. They have four stages in their life cycle: egg - tadpole - metamorph - adult.

Adult Spotted Marsh Frogs have round green spots and dark brown spots on their back. They also have a white, yellow or red stripe down their back. Their belly is white and they have a white stripe under their eyes. Most are around 4.5 cm.

Spotted Marsh Frogs live in the eastern half of Australia. They can be found in swamps, lagoons and creeks in wet coastal areas and dry inland areas.

Spotted Marsh Frogs eat water insects, flying insects and spiders.

Birds, lizards, snakes, turtles and water rats all like to eat Spotted Marsh Frogs.

Adult Spotted Marsh Frogs breathe by inhaling air into their lungs. They can also absorb oxygen through their wet skin when they are out of the water. Tadpoles get oxygen from the water through their gills.

When Spotted Marsh Frogs breed, males use a mating call to attract females. The males then make a floating foam or bubble raft in which the eggs are placed. When the tadpoles hatch out, they drop into the water.

The Spotted Marsh Frog's call sounds like "kuk-kuk-kuk".