Sometimes, animals appear in the most unexpected places. One night while camping in Australia’s Northern Territory, I got out of my tent to get something from my car. When I got there, I discovered a horde of quadrupedal amphibians had made themselves at home.
If you’ve watched my other content, you’ll know I’m a huge nature nut, so naturally, I grabbed my camera and started filming. There were frogs everywhere. They were on the hood, under the windshield wipers, and even stuffed under the headlights.
These little brown frogs are known as Roth’s treefrogs. They are native to northern Australia and southern Papua New Guinea.
This lone, big green frog is the Australian green treefrog, who had basically declared itself emperor by claiming the roof of my car.
But why were all these treefrogs on my car? Certainly, a bright white car, even at night, is not a good place to hang out. Wouldn’t they’d rather be in a tree or in the bush? The most likely reasons they were drawn to my car are actually pretty simple.
One, they may have been attracted to the heat of the car’s engine. After parking a car, the engine takes a while to cool down, so in the cool night, any bit of warmth will draw animals seeking heat, especially ectotherms like frogs.
And, two, the frogs were drawn to the numerous insects that had also gathered on the car. They’re a little hard to see, but there were plenty of bugs that had gathered on the car and would be easy pickings for any of these frogs.
The next morning, I couldn’t see any frogs on my car, but I did find one in the engine compartment when I checked the car’s fluids. When I picked it up it let me hold it for a few seconds, but then, it hopped onto the ground. You can see how well camouflaged it is compared to the dirt.
I’m sure the frog would’ve been fine on the ground, but just to be sure, I picked it back up and put it in a nearby eucalyptus tree. There, it hopped up and away from danger.
This isn’t even my only time encountering treefrogs in an unusual setting. I’ve had plenty of encounters with American treefrogs in the United States. I’ve found them on windows, in car engines, and even in the bathroom of a tugboat.
Even my wife had her own treefrog encounter when one randomly showed up inside our home! Her video is at the end of the video I posted above. Her reactions still makes me laugh.
The moral of the story is, well, actually, there is no moral because this is a story about treefrogs on a car. But, if you enjoyed this tale, and you love nature, history, travel, and other adventurous things, please like this article and follow my blog! Thanks and have a great day!