The odds against identifying this tree frog were not good, as they have very variable colouration, so I hope that I am right in saying that this is a Natal Forest Tree Frog.  We live close to the edge of its range, and that reduces the odds of seeing it here, in our inland garden, when they are more common in the coastal region.

And another unlikely aspect, when I did see one, it was inside an Arum Lily flower! It might look like its resting in this lily that is growing near the edge of our garden pond, but it is likely to be waiting to ambush any insects attracted to the flower. Moths, mosquitoes, flies and even ticks, are on the menu for this mostly arboreal frog.

Breeding pairs come down to the ground to make a shallow nesting burrow near standing water. Once the eggs have hatched, the tadpoles wiggle across the ground to the nearby water. Sadly, suitable habitat for the Natal Forest Tree Frog (Leptopelis natalensis) is being lost as land is drained and built on or used for agriculture. See more details here

Having been lucky enough to see a tree frog in the Arum Lily, what were the odds of seeing one again, and in another lily?  Against the odds I did see one, hanging almost magically on a petal of a Crinum Lily, also near the pond.

Natal Forest Tree Frog in Crinum Lily in suburban garden

And also against the odds, I was able to get a photograph on both occasions, the only times I have ever seen a tree frog in a flower.

Posted by Carol


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