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Amorous amphibians jump to it

South Grafton’s Bev Metcalf discovered this trio croaking lustily outside her back door.
South Grafton’s Bev Metcalf discovered this trio croaking lustily outside her back door. Contributed

SOUTH Grafton's Bev Metcalf was right to describe this tangle of amphibian legs, torsos and grinning faces as a "threesome".

On Monday night her enjoyment of the tennis was interrupted by a burst of croaking near her back door.

She noticed a large lump in the glow from the light inside and thought "cane toad".

But her fears were allayed when she flicked on a torch and lit up this passionate scene.

"I've emailed this picture to all my friends and told them to have a look at this threesome," Bev said.

Her partner, Ernie Miller, who lived on a farm for 75 years said he had never seen anything like it.

"They were certainly having some fun judging by the big smiles on their faces," Bev said.

Bev is a bit of an amateur frog expert, having kept a green frog called Hercules as a pet for years.

"They can live up to 20 years," she said.

In technical terms the throes of frog or toad passion is known as amplexus.

Frogs adopt different mating strategies to most humans.

For many species, including the one this trio belong to, the advent of wet weather is the signal to start breeding.

For the males this means jumping on anything pliable and vaguely froglike and hanging on.

Because they don't possess genitalia as humans know it, they fertilise their eggs externally.

If a female frog is not ready to mate, she makes a vibrating signal, telling the male to get off and find a more willing mate.

Topics:  frogs, toad




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