Wild Windellama

by Paul Alessi

June 2006


Peron's Tree Frog (Litoria peroni)

It's a mighty difficult time for all of us with it being so dry but imagine how hard life
would be if you were a frog, tree frogs spend part of their life cycle surprisingly enough
in trees and this little frog was quite happy living in the bottom of a disused water tank
on top of a hill beneath some trees, there were only a few centimetres of water left in the tank
and we needed to move it before the wind did the job for us.

We took his picture so we could work out just what sort of frog he was but left the
water tank on the hill for a few days until he had moved on. He turned out to be a
Peron's Tree Frog, otherwise known as the Maniacal Cackle Frog and their call
sounds something like a long drawn out " Cra-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ahhk"
a crazy sort of call but one that matches those crazy clown like crossed eyes.

Peron's Tree Frogs are common in Eastern Australia and they can be found
a long way from natural water, one striking feature is the bright yellow and black mottling
on their armpits, groin and the back of their thighs, the rest of their body is pale grey or brown
and the easiest way to recognise this species is the crosses on their eyes.



Giant Wood Moths

A surprise visitor to our kitchen window insect screen a few weeks ago was a giant wood moth,
seen here beside two of his bogong friends, unfortunately this big fella
flew off before I could identify him properly. There are well over 80 species of
giant moths in eastern Australia, some of which are the largest moths in the world.

In their larval stages they are known as Witchetty Grubs and spend the early part
of their lives boring holes through live trees. Some giant moth species prefer Eucalypts but
around Windellama there are many moth species dependant on Wattles.

When they emerge as adult moths they leave their old skin behind as a hollow tube like shell
sometimes sticking out of the ground amongst the Wattles, many moth species wait for rain
and then darkness before emerging and these moths on our window screen had made
an optimistic dash after a few rare rain showers.

The lifecycle of Giant Wood Moths is approximately one year but most of that is spent as a larvae
and their time as flying creatures is very short, sometimes just a few days.


Copyright Paul Alessi 2006