Do frogs adapt their colouration to suit their habitat, or are there micro-evolutionary processes at work?
Below is a typical Slender Tree Frog, note the slender body with a tapering head. Also the pronounced dark stripe, extending through the eye to the lower flanks, as these are the more obvious features for quick identification.
The extent of green markings along the sides is extremely variable, as are the browns along the back.
This other Slender Tree Frog has no green makings.
Less often seen is the bright red/orange on the backs of the thighs.
And even less seen, is the underside of these frogs, showing the large disks, the unwebbed fingers, but strongly webbed toes.
Now check out the frog colors as they relate to habitat.
See how the bright green patches and dark colouration blend into this tree/shrub habitat.
Note the green reed-like colouration running the length of the frog with no markings along the back. This frog was very common with other similarly marked individuals on the Jointed Twig Rush, Baumea articulata, whose presence denotes areas of prolonged near surface freshwater.
In the Esperance area, the above four very different colouration types would certainly assist the frogs survival within their preferred habitat. So is it something the frogs can influence, or is it a mini habitat variation, where variants are more easily spotted and eliminated by predators, thereby promoting compatible color forms within their micro-habitats?