Have you ever encountered a pobblebonk?

The Aussie animal with the greatest name.

This Australian native animal has a great calling noise, and an even better name…

If you hear a ‘bonk, bu-bonk” noise in your backyard, then have a look around amongst the garden beds and you may spot a pobblebonk. This musical creature was listed in the top 10 Australian animal sounds last year, by the ABC. So, what is it? 

It’s a giant banjo frog! Quite a common species, the banjo frog, is easily identified by its ‘bonk’ sounding croak, which can be likened to plucking the strings of a banjo. As The Australian Geographic explains, there are five subspecies of banjo frog: 

  • Eastern banjo frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii dumerilii)
  • Eastern banjo frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii grayi)
  • Snowy Mountains banjo frog, (Limnodynastes dumerilii fryi)
  • Southern banjo frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii insularis and Limnodynastes dumerilii)
  • Giant banjo frog (Limnodynastes interioris)
Giant banjo frog (Limnodynastes interioris) (Credit: Getty)

All of these frogs are nicknamed ‘pobblebonk’ frogs because of their fun calling noises. A giant pobblebonk or giant banjo frog (Limnodynastes interiors), has a much deeper ‘bonk’ and is surprisingly large for an amphibian. 

Measuring between around 7-9cm, this giant frog is one of Australia’s largest frog species. With their brown, grey and gold stripes, the giant pobblebonk can sometimes be mistaken for the invasive cane toad, but a simple ‘bonk’ will help you identify it as a banjo instead! 

Spotting a pobblebonk in the garden 

A giant banjo frog is a burrowing frog, and has strong back legs that dig backwards into the soil. 

These frogs love the wet, which is why you might see (or hear!) them more often at the moment with unruly weather conditions. Tending to stay underground and only pop up after rainfall, a pobblebonk can be found mainly in slow-moving waterways and wetlands. 

Eastern banjo frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii dumerilii) (Credit: Getty)

They also love urban areas that have great access to water, such as ponds, wetland backyards and even pools! 

Their breeding season is from spring to summer, usually September to November, but they’ve been spotted more recently as rain has deluged the eastern coast of Australia. 

The giant pobblebonk is aptly named, and as Chris Roe from Region Riverina states, “The pobblebonk is perhaps the best-named animal in Australia.” 

The next time you hear a ‘bonk-bonk’ in your backyard, head out into the rain and see if you can find a pobblebonk or, better yet, a giant pobblebonk!

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