IT may be the season for Christmas carols but here there's definitely no silent nights! When it rains cats and dogs these little frogs gather together to sing their surprisingly loud chorus of groans and hongs.
When we were children we thought the sounds were made by monsters in the swamps, and adults warned us about playing in the rain! Now I wonder whether the adults then actually knew what made the ruckus, surely only few knew such loud noise could be made by such small frogs!
The musical wonders are actually squat little 2 to 2.5-inch (50-65mm) frogs with short legs commonly called Brown Bulfrogs (Kaloula baleata) that walk rather than jump. During dry weather they are quiet and secretive, hiding under dry leaves and plant debris and coming out to feed mostly on ants at night.
When calling they are a sight to behold as my short clip shows; the males inflate themelves grostequely while floating on the surface of temporary ponds. I took this video when there was a lull in the downpour with the help of a flashlight.
A champion singing male >