Australian Rocket Frog
Litoria nasuta

The Australian Rocket Frog (Litoria nasuta) is a medium-sized frog of the coastal strip of northern and eastern Australia.  I found it to be quite abundant in the areas of NE Queensland where I was recording.  I found them in natural grassy swamps, flooded sugar cane fields, flooded roadside ditches in rainforests and dry forests, and even flooded areas in the middle of towns.

Although many species of Australian Litoria are similar to treefrogs, many other species of Litoria look like true frogs of the family Ranidae.  The name rocket frog apparently derives from the fact that these frogs hop large distances very quickly "rocketing" away from predators.

The call of Litoria nasuta has two distinctly different sounds.  One sound is a sharp "pock, pock" sound that usually seems to be a warm up to the rest of the call.  Here is a group of Litoria nasuta giving their pock, pock calls in the Daintree National Park in Queensland.

Eventually, the move into more typical part of their call which can be described as a rapid, short, nasal "quacking" call.  To me it is somewhat remniscent of the call of the American Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella).

Here is the nasal "quacking" part of their call - 

Here is an individual giving both calls sequentially from grassland pool edge near the Mareebra Wetlands Environmental Park.  First it gives the "quacking" call followed by the "pock" calls.  It was this individual that first taught me that both the frog species I was hearing were, in fact, the same species.  I was watching this individual as he switched songs, much to my surprise!

Litoria nasuta calls

Here is a recording of a large chorus of Rocket Frogs calling from the flooded edge of a sugar cane field near Miallo, Queensland.   You can hear both calls in this chorus.

© Chris Harrison 2015

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