An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

  1. 136 Photo by William Archer
  2. 136_0 Photo by William Archer

Western Banjo or Pobblebonk Frog

Limnodynastes dorsalis


  • Colour:Back varies from pale brown to dark chocolate with areas of deep green or olive, red colouration in the groin and hind limbs
  • Tadpoles: Large, black with deep tail fins.
  • Distinctive feature: Large protruding oval gland on the upper surface of the calf.
  • Size: Males 2.8 – 6.4cm. Females 5.4 – 7.3cm


  • Call:.A deep and explosive “bonk”
  • Diet: Mostly insects and worms.
  • Movement:.Burrowing species that submerges itself during dry conditions.
  • Breeding:.Spawn laid in winter and spring in a large foam nest on the surface of still or slowly moving water.

What to Observe

  • Calling
  • Courting/mating
  • The appearance of foamy egg masses

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

  • We expect frogs to start calling and laying eggs earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth.
  • They may also start appearing in new areas as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them.

When To Look

Winter and Spring (June through to November).

Where To Look

  • Southwest and adjacent arid zone in WA
  • Lower Murchison River south and eat to Wattle Camp.  Inland to Falena, Moorine Rock, Lake Cronin, Peak Charles and Coragina Rock.
  • Found in a variety of habitats including forests, swamps, grasslands, and the wheatbelt.
  • Look and listen in vegetation near permanent water in Winter.

Western Banjo or Pobblebonk frog distribution map - IUCN Red List

Western Banjo or Pobblebonk frog distribution map - IUCN Red List

Where To Look

Maps of Habitat Suitability


Current probability
of occurrence
2070 probability
of occurrence (RCP 8.5)
Species range change from
current to 2070 probability

Above, the left and middle maps show the modelled habitat suitability for the the species under current and potential future climate conditions. The colours indicate the predicted habitat suitability from low (white) to high (dark red).

The future habitat suitability is modelled for the year 2070 under a climate change scenario that represents 'business as usual' (RCP 8.5). The map on the right shows how the range of the species might change between now and 2070, with orange areas indicating where the species might disappear, green areas where the species range might expand, and blue areas where the habitat is predicted to be suitable for the species now and in the future.

The models for this species were run in the Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory. Please note that while models can be very informative, they are only a representation of the real world and thus should always be viewed with caution. You can read more about the science behind these models here.



Tyler, M. J. & Doughty P. 2009 Field Guide to Frogs of Western Australia Western Australian Museum

Bush, B, Maryan, B, Browne-Cooper, R and Robinson, D 2007 Reptiles and Frogs in the Bush: Southwestern Australia University of Western Australia

  1. Search Species

  1. What Else?

    This frog can be distinguished from all other species of Limnodynastes by its distribution, being found only in south-western Australia. Limnodynastes dumerilli can be found in the eastern states.

  1. Did You Know?

    The species is endemic to an area surrounded by arid regions, where it became isolated by climate changes in the interior.

    The species was first described in 1841.

    Western pobblebonk frog call by Dale Roberts, University of Western Australia

  1. Listen to the Call