Growling Grass Frog (Litoria raniformis)

Distribution: The Growling grass frog occurs in southern New South Wales, throughout Victoria and in eastern Tasmania.

Appearance: Growling grass frogs range in color and pattern but are often bright green or olive with irregular gold, brown, black or bronze spots. Some frogs are even a fairly uniform green to olive color. A pale green stripe often runs along their back (missing in Green and Golden Bell Frogs). A white to yellow stripe underlined by a dark brown stripe runs from the nostril, through the eye, above the ear along the flank to the back-legs. Their groin and inner and outer thighs are light blue to turquoise blue. There can also be small yellow spots on the groin, thigh and flank (missing in Green and Golden Bell Frogs). Their bellies are white and coarsely granular (granular in texture). Male throat color is yellow or dark grey/black during the breeding season.

Their backs are warty (Green and Golden Bell Frogs usually have a smooth back). The eardrum (tympanum) is distinct. Their fingers lack webbing but the toes are almost fully webbed. Toe discs are small and approximately equal in width to the digits.

Size: Adult females are typically 6-11cm and males 5–7cm.

Call: Usually a long note that can be slow or fast and may be repeated twice often sounding like: Waaaaaaaa- Waaaaaaaa or WawaWawa or WawaWawa-WawaWawaa. Variations of this call may be heard as frog calls vary with temperature and other conditions that influence their behaviour.

The CAUL Urban Wildlife app lets you help to monitor and conserve native wildlife in Australian cities. You can record sightings of bell frogs, view all of your previous records, and see a map of where other citizen scientists have recorded bell frogs in your area.

Image: Growling grass frog. Credit: Geoff Heard

How you can help

  1. Download the CAUL Urban Wildlife app. Available on Google Play or Apple Store
  2. Complete a quick online training session.
  3. Start recording bell frogs in your area. You can record individual sightings, or undertake a two part timed search - 5 minutes of listening followed by 15 minutes of looking. The timed searches will give us important information on both the presence and absence of our target frog species.

Species profiles

Growling grass frog advertising (credit: David Stewart)