Spotty the frog puts in a magnificent Easter Show performance

With a breed name of ''magnificent'', Spotty was bound to leapfrog the competition at the Easter Show.

A glossy green frog with golden spots, native to the Kimberley region, it trumped eight of its rivals in the broad tree frog category at the show's fourth frog and reptile competition on Tuesday.

''They're very personable,'' said owner and breeder Karen Russell, as she scooped the winner from his tank and balanced him on her hand.

''Frogs are usually very shy, trying to hide up in the plants. But the magnificent frog tends to sit out there and display its beautiful spots.''

Also relishing their first-place status at the Wynne Pavilion were the winners of the blue tongue lizard, morph lizard, small monitor lizard, gecko and dragon categories at the second last day of the show.

During the two-week show, more than 30,000 animals performed, competed and preened.

The champion monitor lizard, like Spotty, was from out of state.

''I got Warren from a breeder in South Australia, and he was flown over here,'' said 20-year-old owner Wade Raber, as he stroked the leathery back of the six-month-old. ''You can see his bright colouration, the lines are where they should be, and his legs are strong.''

The judges said the level of competition was at its highest this year, with the field becoming harder to judge.

Just a few years ago, breeders had been entering reptiles carrying light scars, with missing digits and shed skin rolled up on their bodies, Frances Stopford, one of three judges, said.

''You look to see whether they're healthy, that they've got the end of their tail and no kinks,'' she said. ''It's also about the colouration, the patterning, and whether they're skinny or fat.''

While she conceded that reptiles were not cuddly and cute, Ms Stopford hoped that the show would spark renewed interest among visitors in keeping reptiles as pets.

''Some of them have huge personalities, especially the bearded dragons. They're real people-reptiles, they're captivating.''

Overnight, the tanks were cleaned and disinfected to make way for snakes as diverse as the diamond, jungle carpet and blackheaded pythons, which will be judged on Wednesday.

The story Spotty the frog puts in a magnificent Easter Show performance first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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