Rainy days

All this recent rain has been causing havoc in parts of inland Queensland. Thargomindah, Charleville, and now St George have been flooded and/or cut off. (Somewhat amusingly, the prediction in December was that we’d get below average rains this season.) While the floodwaters are responsible for what will ultimately be a huge damage bill, the long-term benefits seen in the agricultural sectors in the areas may be substantial. That’s all well and good, but what about the reptiles?!? It’ll be interesting to see how populations of native animals respond to these rains. Depending on how long the moisture stays around, we might see an increase in available food resources, and food may be available over a longer period. Rodent and insect numbers will hopefully increase, in turn leading to an increase in the numbers of their predators (e.g., reptiles, dasyurid mammals, raptors/owls). Population increases as a result of rains such as these are never immediate. Food supply has to increase and persist, existing adult animals have to breed, and the offspring have to survive long enough to become useful. One group of animals that displays a more immediate response to rains is, of course, frogs. I imagine that frogs are going off right now over much of the south-east of the country. I’m not able to venture too far afield at the moment due to work, but I’ve been out in my local area looking for frogs. I found the two species I was after (Litoria brevipalmata and Litoria cooloolensis), which is always satisfying.

Brisbane

Ornate burrowing frog (Platyplectrum ornatum) amplexus
Ornate burrowing frog (Platyplectrum ornatum) pair in amplexus

Green tree frog (Litoria caerulea)
Green tree frog (Litoria caerulea)

Green-thighed frog (Litoria brevipalmata)
Green-thighed frog (Litoria brevipalmata)

Green-thighed frog (Litoria brevipalmata)
Green-thighed frog (Litoria brevipalmata)

Graceful tree frog (Litoria gracilenta)
Graceful tree frog (Litoria gracilenta)

Rainbow Beach

Sandy yabby (Cherax robustus)
Sandy yabby (Cherax robustus)

Sandy yabby (Cherax robustus)
“No pictures, please!”

Sandy yabby (Cherax robustus)
The patch of hair on the claw is a key ID feature of this species.

Sandy yabby (Cherax robustus)

Cooloola sedge frog (Litoria cooloolensis)
Cooloola sedge frog (Litoria cooloolensis)

About Stewart Macdonald

I'm a wildlife ecologist living and working in Queensland, Australia. I spend most of my time in the bush finding and photographing wildlife.
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2 Responses to Rainy days

  1. Warren says:

    love the freaking yabbies

  2. Harlz says:

    Typically fat Litoria caerulea there, nice shots!