The ‘Maniacal Cackle’ Frog

Have you see this frog?

Peron’s Tree Frog Litoria peronii, variously known as the Emerald-spotted Tree Frog, the Emerald-speckled Tree Frog, the Laughing Tree Frog, or my favourite, the Maniacal Cackle Frog, is on the edge of its range in Newstead. This one has been residing for some time in a ‘nice patch of habitat’ – in and around a lemon tree on the edge of town.


Peron’s Tree Frog, Newstead, 24th February 2016

Peron’s Tree Frogs are found over much of south-eastern Australia, with the Murray Darling Basin a stronghold. They come in a variety of colours and can in fact change colour rapidly in response to a change in surroundings. This one is quite pale , with distinctive emerald-green spots over the back and legs. The call is unmistakable once you’ve heard it – a high-pitched hysterical cackling sound, hence it’s oft used common name. What a delight to have it here in Newstead – I’d be keen to hear about other local observations.


The star-crossed iris is a distinctive feature


Peron’s Tree Frog habitat

Many thanks to Dawn Angliss for this observation.

10 responses to “The ‘Maniacal Cackle’ Frog

  1. I really enjoy listening to their ‘manical’ calls. Seem to have quite a few around the block in Axedale.

  2. Peron’s Tree frogs like letterboxes too but that me be a Canberra thing, being the first to read the mail.

  3. Geraldine Harris

    We had one in our toilet at Barkers Creek a couple of years ago.

  4. In Melton they are present in one dam in the golf course, but nowhere else.

  5. I have an extended family here in Green Gully, and still calling on recent warm nights. The most watery spot is the pond near the house. Here they have found good echo chambers in the spouts of watering cans (a favourite) and most recently in some spouting above a down-pipe where they can get in via a very convenient frog-sized hole in the downpipe. Latest sighting here over two successive nights is a bat bouncing off the flywire screens on my bedroom window – on the outside – and grabbing insects in the process. It even went for a large moth that was on the inside, a large meal if it had been able to catch it. Hard to sleep through the night with such exciting antics, but at least the bat is outside (unlike many previous times). Chris

    • Thanks Chris – I had overlooked the fact that you have been the local ‘champion’ of this species in recent years, with a number of excellent series! So much for my memory.
      Cheers, geoff

  6. If I’m not mistaken Geoff, we have 3-4 living in our wheelie bin that we use for the grey water from the washing machine, which then goes on the garden. Not my preferred place of lodging, know one is forcing them to live there! Will try to get some photos to confirm species.

  7. carolbarker2014

    We have frogs of similar size and appearance that burrow into the topsoil (what there is of it) but I’m yet to identify them. Any ideas?

  8. 1 found in Sunny Coast Queensland

  9. Pingback: The Maniacal Cacklers of Newstead | Natural Newstead

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