Pronunciation: Lit-tor-re-ah, per-ron-eye
The Perons Tree Frog is a moderately sized frog at about 53 – 70 mm SVL, and can be almost white or light grey, mottled brown, tan and almost yellow, to sometimes a yellow to lime green colour. The Perons Tree Frog is a tree frog (in the Hylidae family) and thus can climb. If it is brown and can climb there are a few possibilities. However Perons Tree Frogs are the only frogs in Australia with cross shaped pupils. If you find a frog with crossed shaped pupils you can readily identify it as a Perons Tree Frog.
Distribution within Sutherland Shire region
Perons Tree Frogs are relatively common and seem to be able to adapt to the urban environment. Perons tree frogs are likely present in most suburbs within the Sutherland Shire. The only suburb which may not have a Perons tree frog population is Yowie Bay. However it is important to note that Perons tree frogs appear to be quite nomadic and seem to move around a lot, even in urban areas. Some years an area may not have any Perons tree frogs with in it, then other years there may be many once the Perons tree frogs travel back to the area.
This section will be updated as new data comes in. If there you have encountered this frog in a Sutherland Shire suburb which is not on this list, or is “unconfirmed” , please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a photo of the frog and the suburb it was found in. This is greatly appreciated as this extra data can help get a better idea of frog distributions around Sutherland Shire.
How to attract them to your backyard
Perons tree frogs are an arboreal (tree dwelling) and is very good at climbing. Males usually call from elevated positions adjacent to a potential breeding site. Perons tree frogs usually prefer to breed in pond situations but will breed in slow flowing rivers. The Perons tree frog tadpoles have unique traits which enable them to eat vegetative parts of plants, which is unusual for a tadpole, as most tadpoles feed off detritus. Therefore having floating plants in your pond may encourage Perons tree frogs to breed in your backyard, as this presents an extra food resource for their tadpoles.
Retain native canopy: Ensure there are trees in your garden. Perons tree frogs are fairly dependent on trees and are known to shelter in tree hollows, bark exfoliation and the axils between palm fronds. Thick patches of palms seem to provide a haven for Perons tree frogs. While incorporating canopy will encourage Perons tree frogs in your backyard, it is not completely necessary. Some urban populations of Perons tree frogs appear to survive well without canopy, and use man made structures for habitat instead. For example, Perons tree frogs have been found sheltering in letterboxes, gutters and fridges left outdoors.
Riparian shrubs: Ensure there are shrubs adjacent to your garden pond so that Perons tree frog males have an elevated structure to call from. Alternatively, man made structures can be used. For example, Perons tree frog males have been observed to call from slits in fencing and even a statue which was positioned near a pond (which would make a very nice photo!).
Floating vegetation: The tadpoles of Perons Tree Frogs have a powerful tail which enables them to shift themselves vertically in the water column to orientate themselves to forage on floating vegetation. Perons Tree Frogs also have an especially keritinised jaw sheath which enables them to bite into the vegetative structures of plants. These adaptations enable these tadpoles to forage on floating plants such as lily pads and duck weed. The tadpoles appear to favour these food sources. By incorporating floating plants in your backyard pond, you enable another food resource for Perons Tree Frog tadpoles which will overall encourage fitness and survival of these tadpoles!
Native plants to consider:
- Lilly Pilly – Acmena smithii
- Smooth Barked Apple – Angophora costata
- Bangalow Palm – Archontophoenix cunninghamiana
- Blackbutt – Eucalyptus pilularis
- Cabbage Palm – Livistona australis
- Azolla – Azolla filiculoides (Unconfirmed palatability for Perons Tree Frog tadpoles)
- Azolla – Azolla pinnata (Unconfirmed palatability for Perons Tree Frog tadpoles)
- Common Duckweed – Lemna disperma
- Spirodela polyrhiza
- Spirodela punctata