About the Project

The ZooTrophy Animal-a-Day project began on October 15th, 2013 as illustrator Angela "LemurKat" Oliver began working her way, systematically but selectively, through the alphabet and presenting, via social media, an illustrated animal to the world. Daily.

All pieces are drawn as 2.5 x 3.5 inch collectible cards, using a combination of polychromos and prismacolor pencils, along with other art materials. Many are still available for purchase ($10) or trade, so drop her an email if anything captures your eye or if there is an animal you wish to request.

It is predicted this project will take her at least two years to complete - with approximately 36 animals being drawn for each letter. She has also used the images to create a collectible hardback encyclopedia series, playing cards and a desk calendar, as well as the ZooTrophy collectible trading card game.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

#832: Whistling Tree Frog

In memory of Lazarus.
There are several species of frog commonly referred to as Whistling Frogs, but two species in particular come from Australia: Litoria ewingii and Litoria verreauxii. They are named for their call, although it does not much sound like a whistle. Neither species grows more than 45 mm in length and both lead a semi-arboreal existence, ascending to the trees once they have assumed their adult form. Ewingii has been introduced to New Zealand, where it is locally common.

Lazarus came to us in the mid-90s, taken from an abandoned bath tub on my uncle's farm, and making the journey in a large jar filled with water. The rest of his life was spent in a terranium, normally housed in the cool of our bathroom. In the early years, he would whistle when we showered, but eventually gave up when his songs went unanswered. His name came from an incident when, upon arriving home from school, I found him lying in his swimming tub, motionless. Even shaking his tub had no effect. I left a note for my mum (along the lines of "think frog might be dead?"), then went out with some friends. When I got home, my mother had left another note: "frog is fine, croak, croak" and he was. Lazarus never hibernated, and when the flies upon which we fed him disappeared with winter, I would feed him meal worms, warming him in my hands first (frogs, being ectotherms, become sluggish in the cold). I know now that you are not supposed to handle frogs due to chemicals, but Lazarus lived a full 15 years with us, gradually getting slower and less adept at hunting his living prey as he aged. I do feel a little sad for him, he spent his entire life in the terranium, never knew the love of a frog-woman, and his diet was fairly limited. I would not keep frogs inside again - now we have a pond in our garden. I released the tadpoles into it, saw some of them assume their adult forms and hope that they are still out there, somewhere, succesfully avoiding predation by cat, starling and hedgehog. At least Lazarus never had to worry about that.

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