The Southern Bell Frog

The Southern Bell Frog Litoria raniformisis an introduced species that is doing well over the whole country. It was introduced in 1860 from Tasmania. They are the largest frog in New Zealand and have made themselves well and truly at home at the wetlands at Queen Elizabeth park.  They are very noisy when they think there is no one around but the minute you make a noise there is instant silence.

When they are quiet the frogs are almost impossible to spot among the weeds around the edge of the wetlands but once you see the first one, you can see them all.  It just takes your eyes a little while to adjust to what you are actually looking for.  They are very well camouflaged and can easily be mistaken as weeds.  In some of the images I shot today I believed I was photographing one frog, yet when I put the image on the screen there were three!

It won’t be long now before the pond is full of juicy tadpoles and that is when I will be back to hopefully capture the dabchicks fishing for tadpoles with their chicks. The white-faced herons also enjoy a feast of tadpoles. Spring is a great time for nature photography!


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