Frog highways on Cravens

Jane Blackwood
Published 26 Mar 2020 
about  Cravens Peak Reserve  
Sudell's Frog (Neobatrachus sudelli)<br/> Sudell's Frog (Neobatrachus sudelli)
Halfway Swamp<br/> Halfway Swamp
Frog tracks along a frog highway<br/> Frog tracks along a frog highway
Desert Spadefoot (Notaden nichollsi)<br/> Desert Spadefoot (Notaden nichollsi)
A common nightime insect making holes in the sand with its abdomen<br/> A common nightime insect making holes in the sand with its abdomen

When Cravens Peak Reserve received 81mm in the first half of March, ephemeral swamps and claypans in the sandhill country were filled.

Halfway Swamp, 5km west of the Cravens homestead, is now bursting at the seams with tadpoles, shield shrimp, diving beetles and the larval stages of various aquatic insects such as mayflies.

The road leading west from Cravens Peak lies between the sandhills and the swamp and during March and early April as you drive about you encounter the many frog highways crossing Plum Pudding Road. This is the day time view.

After 7:30pm the road becomes impossible to drive as small sandhill frogs move onto the roads to hunt and to travel to the swamp edge to lay their eggs.

They're there each night in their hundreds and the best way to see them is to walk along the road with a spotlight when the air is a soup of insects, many in their thousands and overwhelming for the spotlight holder.
Halfway Swamp<br/> Halfway Swamp
Frog tracks along a frog highway<br/> Frog tracks along a frog highway
Desert Spadefoot (Notaden nichollsi)<br/> Desert Spadefoot (Notaden nichollsi)
A common nightime insect making holes in the sand with its abdomen<br/> A common nightime insect making holes in the sand with its abdomen