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Sixteen species of frogs, all of which occur more widely in Victoria, can be found within 50 km of the Melbourne General Post Office. The two major families of Australian frogs are represented: southern frogs (10 Leptodactylidae species) and tree frogs (six Hylidae species). The largest local frog is the spectacular green-and-brown-marked growling grass frog (Litoria raniformis, Hylidae), up to 95 mm long. Contact with its potent skin venom will cause serious eye-irritation. The commonest member of this family is the pretty little brown tree frog (Litoria ewingi, Hylidae), whose merry, trilling 'reed-reed-reed ...' can be heard in suburban gardens. Also widespread is the spotted marsh frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis, Leptodactylidae), whose call is a sharp 'click' and whose eggs are deposited in a floating mass of bright, white foam. Larger ponds with plenty of vegetation often harbour the pobblebonk (Limnodynastes dumerili, Leptodactylidae), whose mellow 'pock!' call is a familiar sound on warm, still nights in spring. All frogs in Melbourne are protected by legislation and may not be caught or killed. There is considerable evidence that frog populations of several species are declining in the area; this is true of frogs in many parts of the world.

Angus Martin

Robinson, Martyn, A field guide to frogs, Australian Museum and Reed Books, Sydney, 1998. Details