AW Amphibian Book: Frogs & Toads - Photos & Descriptions

Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:14 pm

Order: Anura

South African frogs belong to 10 families and over 50% of the 115 or so species occur nowhere else.


Upload your pic of a frog and add a description underneath. Please only do one species per post. All entries will be edited and updated (additional photos and information will be added by moderators). New entries will be posted according to taxonomic order and the post date does not reflect the actual date of new posts.


Please don't post any comments here ;-) Comments or any additinal photos to be added to the entries are welcome here.

Re: AW Amphibian Book: Frogs & Toads - Photos & Descriptions

Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:16 pm

Banded Rubber Frog (Phrynomantis bifasciatus)
Family: Microhylidae

Image
(Hans Merensky Nature Reserve)

Size
Males are up to 53 mm and females up to 65 mm in snout-vent length.

Description
The Banded Rubber Frog has a moderately robust body, more elongated and depressed than most frogs. The body is carried high on its slender limbs when moving, which is generally by walking, or occasionally running, but not hopping. The head is mobile and able to move somewhat laterally. Eyes are relatively small and have circular pupils. Digit tips are expanded into truncated discs. Their fingers lack webbing and their toes have vestigial webbing.
The common name derives from the rubber-like appearance and texture of the frog's smooth and shiny skin, which feels dry when handled. This frog has shiny black or dark brown skin with continuous or interrupted vivid red or orange bands extending from the snout over the eyelids to the back of the body. There is also a large red or orange spot on the posterior dorsum, in the caudal region. Limbs have red bars or spots. Ventrally this frog is light brown or gray with dense, distinct white spotting. Males have a black throat.

Image

Distribution
This widespread species is distributed from the Democratic Republic of Congo, eastern Ethiopia and Somalia, south through East Africa to northeastern South Africa. Its range extends westward through northern Botswana and northern Namibia to southern Angola.

Habitat and Ecology
These frogs inhabit a variety of bushveld vegetation types in the Savanna Biome (savanna pans), at altitudes of 50–1450 m. They often shelter with other frogs, lizards, scorpions and whip scorpions.

Diet
Two families of frogs have the ability to aim their tongues laterally, independent of head or jaw movements, when shooting them out to capture prey. The Banded Rubber Frog shows the most extreme lateral aim of any frog known, extending its tongue over an arc of more than 200 degrees in the frontal plane. This means it can extend its tongue to capture prey at an angle of greater than 90 degrees from the midline of the head (in other words, it can even aim slightly backwards).

The adults feed mainly on ants, but also consume other Hymenoptera, termites, grasshoppers and spiders.

Toxicity
These frogs may be handled without ill effects, but if unduly alarmed or hurt, they produce copious skin secretions with an unpleasant odor. The secretions are toxic, irritant and lethal to other frogs confined in the same container. They are cardiotoxic, affecting the potassium channels in the membranes ofmammal heart cells, and cause cell death within a short time. In humans, prolonged skin contact, or assimilation of the toxin via cuts or scratches on the hands, can cause extremely painful swelling and other symptoms such as nausea, headache, respiratory distress and an increased pulse rate.

Reproduction
Breeding takes place in temporary pans and pools, flooded grassland and small, shallow dams. They are opportunistic in that they will breed in the smallest bodies of water, and tadpoles have been seen in the water-filled prints of animals such as elephants. Clutches of 300–1500 eggs are laid in a mass of jelly, c.75 mm across, that is attached to vegetation or sinks to the bottom of the pool. Tadpoles hatch after four days and usually reach metamorphosis after about a month, depending on the availability of food.

Call
Long melodious two-second trills every five second.

Behaviour
This species is nocturnal but may occasionally be seen in the daytime following a period of precipitation. Although it has expanded discs on the fingertips, it is generally found at or near ground level. However, it is also an adept climber of trees and rocky walls. During the dry season it shelters underground in burrows in loose sand or earth, in termite mounds, or in cavities within dead trees. Banded Rubber Frogs dig backwards to make their burrows, even though they do not have specialized digging "spades" on their hind feet. This frog prefers to walk slowly rather than take long hops.

Image © mposthumus

Image © mposthumus

Image © mposthumus

Links: Vincent Carruthers: Frogs and Frogging in Southern Africa; Frog Friday! – Banded Rubber Frog; FrogMAP Species text

Re: AW Amphibian Book: Frogs & Toads - Photos & Descriptions

Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:53 pm

Grey Foam-nest Tree Frog (Chiromantis xerampelina)
Family: Rhacophoridae

Image © Moshi Monster
Mapungubwe National Park, Limpopo

Description
A very large Chiromantis with almost full webbing. Males 43–75 mm, females 60–90 mm. A slender gray treefrog, appearing almost completely white
during the daytime. Dorsal surfaces brownish to grey, sometimes white, with or without darker mottling. In some individuals the backis mottled with a darker brown pattern resembling tree bark. No tarsal fold. The eyes are large with horizontal pupils, and the tympanum is distinctly visible. It has extensive webbing; broad web extends more than 70% of the distance between the tubercles of the third finger.The fingers have wide expanded disks and are arranged in opposable pairs that wrap easily around small branches. Toes are completely webbed.

Distribution
C. xerampelina is widely distributed in eastern and southern Africa. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia. In South Africa it is confined to the northern bushveld, eastern lowveld and south through Swaziland and northern KwaZulu-Natal to the coast.

Habitat
It is a very adaptable species living in all types of savannah, shrubland, disturbed forests, grassland, agricultural land, pastureland and suburban areas. It breeds in temporary pools using foam nests.

Size
This is the largest of South Africa's ‘tree frogs’. Males measure 43-75 mm and females 60-90 mm in snout-vent length.

Behavior
These frogs are well adapted to a dry, arboreal life although they may frequently visit water to rehydrate. They will rarely be found swimming or sitting in water like many other frogs and toads but are commonly found in and around buildings where lights attract a source of insect food. With a variety of mottled patterns, they can change color within a range of white to dark grey to match their background and are well camouflaged against tree bark.
These frogs must tolerate high temperatures and dry conditions, and they have evolved a highly waterproof skin, the ability to change color to a bright white that helps reflect sunlight, and a 'scrunched' posture shown here that minimizes surface area. This frog has not shifted to the 'white' color and is a camouflaged blotchy brown. They spend the day sitting on tree limbs.

Breeding

Image © Sprocky
Kruger National Park

The males gather at suitable nesting sites at night where they produce soft, discordant croaks and squeaks. They do not appear to be territorial, and two or more frogs close together, or even on top of each other, will call irregularly and independently.
The grey foam-nest tree frog mates in what is described as the most extreme example of polyandry of all vertebrates. The simultaneous polyandry begins when a female starts releasing eggs onto a tree branch. Up to 12 males then cluster around her and fertilize the eggs.
A study in 2008 found that fertilization success was positively correlated with the number of mating males, and females that mated with more males also produced more tadpoles. These findings provide evidence that polyandry can benefit female frogs by increasing fertilization success and offspring production.
Additionally, offspring of these polyandrous encounters are more likely to survive than the eggs fertilized by a single male.

Foam Nests

Image © Alf
Kruger National Park, on the S118 near the S114 intersection (9 January 2014)

Image © Flutterby

Image © nan

The common name comes from the whitish clumps of foam that they construct as ‘nests’ in which to lay their eggs. These nests are always constructed on some branch or object over, and often many metres above, water. Nest construction begins when the female releases an oviducal secretion and churns it into a white foam with her hind legs. Into this foam she lays 500 - 1250 eggs, on average, which are fertilized by attendant males. Neither the amplexing male nor the peripheral males participate in the construction of the foam nest. Communal nests, involving two or more females and numerous males, are commonly formed.
The foam prevents desiccation of the eggs and keeping eggs and small tadpoles out of water eliminates much predation.
The nest may take up to seven hours to complete, and nest construction is split into 2–4 sessions. Between sessions, the female leaves the nest site and returns to the water to rehydrate.
About five days after hatching the small tadpoles wriggle out of the foam to drop into the water below, where they continue to grow and complete their normal metamorphosis.

Image © nan
Lake Panic, Kruger National Park

Image © nan
Lower Sabie Camp, Kruger National Park

Image © nan
Shireni Bushveld Camp, Kruger National Park

Links: FrogMAP Species text

Re: AW Amphibian Book: Frogs & Toads - Photos & Descriptions

Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:43 am

Mottled Shovel-nosed Frog Hemisus marmoratus
Family: Hemisotidae

Common Names: Mottled Burrowing Frog, Mottled Shovel-nosed Frog, Pig-nosed Frog, Shovel-nosed Burrowing Frog, Marbled Shovel-nosed Frog, Marbled Shovel-snouted Frog, Marbled Pig-nosed Frog, Marbled Snout-burrower, Mottled Shovel-nosed Frog

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Image

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Distribution
It occurs from South Africa all the way to Egypt and West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia, Zimbabwe).

Habitat:
H. marmoratus
has a wide-ranging inhabitant of sub-Saharan Africa. It is found in savanna habitats but also occurs in forest; it may be found in grasslands, plantations, agricultural areas, as well. It prefers muddy banks of pans and slow-moving streams in savanna woodland.

Description: This frog has a typical almost cylindrical body shape with short limbs, a pointed snout. It is a medium-sized frog. Males are from 2.5 to 3.5 cm in size; females are larger, ranging from 2.9 to 5.5 cm. Above mottled grey brown with yellow. The back is yellowish brown, usually with darker markings and often with a light vertebral stripe. The belly surface is smooth and pale pink. Males have darkly pigmented throats. The limbs are mottled and usually paler than the body. The toes are webbed only very slightly at the base. These frogs have a narrow snout from which they ‘shoot’ (different from all other frogs which ‘flip’) a very special small tongue. The tongue has two lobes which surround the ant or termite as soon as it hits it. As termites and ants move around
quite fast, the frog is able to adjust its aim to hit its prey. The size of the snout is so small, these frogs can’t eat bigger prey, instead they specialise on termites and ants.

Diet:
Food includes ants, termites and earthworms. It feeds mainly on termites and is thought to forage underground. At night, especially after rains, they come out of the soil and move around, eating small insects. These frogs have a narrow snout from which they ‘shoot’ (different from all other frogs which ‘flip’) a very special small tongue. The sticky tongue has two lobes which surround the ant or termite as soon as it hits it.

Reproduction:
Breeding habitat includes pans, waterholes or isolated pools in riverbeds. Once males and females pair the female selects a suitable oviposition site and disappears beneath the surface, male in tow, to excavate a breeding chamber. Together, they burrow into the mud and deposit clutches of 150 – 200 eggs. Females remain with the clutch until hatching and guard the eggs. Once the tadpoles hatch they remain in the underground nests where they cling to their mother. During the dry season the tadpoles stay in the nest with their development frozen. Once the rains come the tadpoles leave the nest to feed. Large tadpoles emerge after eight days and make their way from the burrow to water either by swimming out when the burrow floods, or being transported by the mother. Females often dig shallow channels for floating of the breeding chambers to aid the tadpoles as they move toward water.

Special Behaviors:
These burrowing frogs spend the dry season in a torpid state, underground. Unlike most other burrowing species, which burrow by their hind limbs (transformed into shovels), this species uses its small pig-like head to burrow head first into the soil in very wet and sandy places near streams and rivers where it spends the day. digging themselves backward rather slowly, Hemisus species invariably burrow head first, even when the male clasps his mate in inguinal amplexus. H. marmoratus is encountered at the surface mainly at night, or immediately before or after rainfall. Otherwise, the frogs are hardly ever active at the surface.

Call:
Males call from muddy areas near water. The call is an extended buzzing lasting several seconds and repeated frequently. Males are known to call both below ground and on the surface.
Listen to Call: http://youtu.be/Y6ALG6k8tjw

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This Starling was hunting the frog, but the frog happily survived the attack. The slimy skin secretions gave him protection from the attacks by the bird.
View videos (Djuma Safari Game Drives for Wildearth): Part 1, Part 2

Links:
Vincent Carruthers: Frogs and Frogging in Southern Africa
http://amphibiaweb.org/cgi/amphib_query ... armoratus;
FrogMAP Species text: http://frogmap.adu.org.za/Species_text.php?sp=550

Re: AW Amphibian Book: Frogs & Toads - Photos & Descriptions

Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:25 pm

Guttural Toad, African Common Toad Amietophrynus gutturalis, Bufo gutturalis
Family: Bufonidae

Image © nan
Kruger National Park, Satara

Diagnostic Description
This is a large toad. Skin has rough, lumpy elevations. Elongated swelling on each shoulder. Brown or grey. Individual markings can be highly variable. Pairs of dark, irregular dorsal patches: one pair on snout, another over eyes. The dorsum is yellow-brown with irregular darker brown blotches, and red patches on the back of the thigh. A light middorsal stripe is often present. Between the eyes, a cross is formed by two sets of dark patches. The forearm is edged with a row of conspicuous white tubercles. The parotid glands are large and distinct. Toes are webbed only very slightly at the base. The ventral surface is pale and granular, and the throat of the male is darkly pigmented. Males in breeding condition have distinct dark nuptial pads.

Amietophrynus gutturalis can be distinguished by the prominent cross on its head between the eyes. A. maculatus and A. xeros can also have a light cross or stripe between the eyes. The parotid glands are distinctly elevated in A. gutturalis but are level with the head in A. maculatus. A. maculatus also lacks the red infusions on the thigh that are present in A. gutturalis. A. xeros often has red markings on the thigh and vent as in A. gutturalis, but lacks distinct dark dorsal markings.

Size
Males range from 64–90 mm and females 62-120 mm in snout-vent length.

Distribution
This species occurs from extreme southern Somalia, central and southern Kenya, though Tanzania, southern Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola, south to northern Namibia, northern central and eastern South Africa. It occurs on the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba (Tanzania). The boundary between this species and Bufo regularis in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania is poorly understood, and the map should be regarded as provisional. It is introduced on Reunion (to France) and Mauritius. Records from southeastern Uganda might refer to Bufo regularis and therefore require confirmation.
The Guttural Toad is a common species distributed widely throughout the region, except the south-western parts, although populations have been recorded in the Western Cape in recent years.

Image

Habitat
A. gutturalis inhabits various vegetation types in the Savanna, Grassland and Thicket biomes at altitudes ranging from sea-level to about 1800 m. It is commonly found around homes as it is tolerant to disturbed habitats and can be found in towns and cities.

Diet
Adults will eat just about anything that moves and will fit into their mouths, although most of their diet consists of a wide range of insects, spiders, centipedes, slugs and snails. In captivity, even lizards and other frogs have been recorded as prey items. One of the most spectacular sights is watching these animals come to lights at night to catch insects which are attracted there. On nights when termites fly this frog can be found gorging itself.

Predators
Adults are preyed on by various snakes including the Black-necked Spitting Cobra, Common Night Adder, and Western Green Snake, as well as Serrated Hinged Terrapin, and African Civet. The tadpoles are eaten by aquatic birds, fish and the Common Platanna.

Reproduction
Breeding takes place in small permanent water bodies, and in areas where there are no permanent water bodies, the breeding will begin with the first heavy rains. It breeds frequently in garden pools. Males call from inside breeding habitats, both permanent and temporary pools. The call is a loud extended snore repeated at three second intervals. Males call alternately with one another or with males of different species. Females are attracted to the calls and when approaching the chorus they are quickly grasped by males. Many males may try to grasp one female forming large balls of animals. This species shows site fidelity, returning year after year.

Call
Listen to call
Wagner (1986) found that after breeding 25 000 small black eggs are laid in two gelatinous strings, often times wrapped around aquatic vegetation. Small dark tadpoles with bright specks emerge after 2 - 3 days and reach metamorphosis after 75 days. Once front legs have developed the toadlets leave the water until their tails are absorbed.

Status
IUCN (Red List) status: Least Concern (LC).

Links: FrogMAP Species text; AFRICAN AMPHIBIANS LIFEDESK; Vincent Carruthers: Frogs and Frogging in Southern Africa

Image © BluTuna

Image © BluTuna

Image © BluTuna
Garden in Johannesburg

Image © BluTuna
Balule camp. Kruger National Park

Re: AW Amphibian Book: Frogs & Toads - Photos & Descriptions

Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:57 pm

Common Caco, Boettger’s Dainty Frog Cacosternum boettgeri (Blikslanertjie)
Family: Pyxicephalidae

Image © BluTuna
Kruger National Park

Description
Head moderate; tympanum hidden. Colour varies from dark brown to green or red. With or without stripes. Horizontal pupils. Dark facial mask.
Third finger scarcely more than once and a half the length of second: tips of fingers and toes not dilated: two metatarsal tubercles. The hind limb being carried forwards along the body, the tibio-tarsal articulation marks the shoulder.
Skin perfectly smooth: a curved fold from the eye to the shoulder.
Very variable colours and patterns from green to brown with stripes and spots. Olive above: a light line from below the eye to the shoulder; in some specimens, a light vertebral line and a broad light stripe from the scapular region to thogroin; transversely dilated dark spots on the legs; belly generally with round black spots; inferior surface of limbs with dark vermiculalions.
Male with a large external subgular vocal sac.
From snout to vent 19 mm.

Distribution
This species occurs in most of southern Africa. This frog inhabits South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, the savanna regions of Namibia, eastern Botswana, southern
Zambia and the Zimbabwe plateau.

Habitat
It is a species of grasslands (including montane grassland) and dry savannahs, favouring open areas with short vegetation, and is extremely successful in grassy meadows. It breeds in any shallow water body, including vleis, flooded depressions, drainage ditches, puddles, small pools, inundated grasslands and shallow pans, especially where grass is growing. They have been found in large numbers in disused termitaria.

Reproduction
This species appears to have an extended breeding season. During the rainy season, males usually start calling in the late afternoon and call incessantly after dark, continuing until around midnight. Large choruses are common.
Call bouts are usually initiated by the same individual in the group. Males normally call from concealed positions under vegetation or other cover, at water level, but have also been observed calling from totally exposed positions. A short territorial call is sometimes uttered by individual males prior to their regular advertisement call.
Clutches of c.250 eggs are attached to vegetation below the surface of the water. The tadpoles usually hatch two days later, and metamorphosis is completed within approximately two weeks.

Call
Explosive bursts of six to ten clicks. Choruses are almost painful to the human ear at close quarters.

Links: Vincent Carruthers: Frogs and Frogging in Southern Africa, FrogMAP Species text

Re: AW Amphibian Book: Frogs & Toads - Photos & Descriptions

Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:22 pm

African Bullfrog, Edible Bullfrog Pyxicephalus edulis = P. adspersus edulis (Klein Brulpadda)
Family: Pyxicephalidae

Image © mposthumus
Kruger National Park

Description
Typical body shape; large ranid frog; protruding eyes; dorsal ridges; large inner metatarsal tubercle.
A large, very compact ranid. Males reach 83–120 mm (SVL), females 85–110 mm. Females reach just 50% of the male weight. The lower jaw of the broad mouth bears two characteristic long projections (tooth like structures) which point dorsally. Nuptial pads appear on the first finger of the male. The skin is faintly warty, and the warts are rather rounded. The lateral ridges are short, never stretching from the head to the end of the body. The habitus changes considerably as growth proceeds. Young frogs are sturdy and almost plump. Adult animals are dorsoventrally flattened, resembling a flat cake. The eyes move more and more towards the center of the frontal region, and in adults are very protruding. The tympanum is distinct, large and high-oval in shape. Webs are found exclusively on the hind feet. Finger and toe tips are not enlarged. The inner metatarsal tubercle is transformed into a large shovel whose length surpasses that of the shortest toe.
Coloration: The dorsum of adult animals is more or less uniform yellow green to drab olive green. Males tend to be more greenish, whereas females are often more olive brown. A pale vertebral stripe and light lines on the ridges and warts are more common in females. The young often bear a bright, light green vertebral stripe, gold-brown speckles and black markings on their dark green skin. Forming black bars, these markings also appear on the lips and extremities. Lower lip, finger-tips and venter are uniform white or cream. Males have dark yellow throats. On some individuals, the venter is completely yellow. A dark patch is often present in the center of the tympanum. The webs are darkly pigmented.

Taxonomic Notes
This species was elevated from subspecies status under Pyxicephalus adspersus by Channing et al. (1994).

Distribution
This species ranges from southern Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania, south to Mozambique, southern Malawi, southern Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, northern and eastern South Africa and Swaziland.
In southern Africa, the ranges of the two species have not yet been neatly defined, mainly due to the ancient confusion of P. edulis and P. adspersus. In the northern range of the species, all former P. adspersus records will be in fact P. edulis.

Habitat
It is found in arid savannas where it apparently prefers sand and clay substrates.
It inhabits flat areas in open grassy woodland and marshy areas in eastern and southern Africa, it is fossorial, only coming to the surface at the beginning of the rainy season. It breeds in shallow, well-vegetated seasonal pans, as well as many man-made small waterbodies.

Reproduction
Numerous heavily pigmented single eggs are deposed in deep water. The eggs which are deposited as a surface layer in two subsequent charges. The tadpoles hatch within 20 hours. It is active at night during the breeding season. The males guard the tadpoles, protecting them from predation.

Behaviour
These frogs spend most of the year buried in the substrate, appearing only when the rains set in. In order to survive the dry season, both young and adult frogs produce cocoons formed by shed skin-layers and soil particles sticking to it. The frogs are thus capable of reducing their evaporation rate by 50%.

Call
A loud whoop lasting about 0.11 to 0.29 sec, with the dominant frequency of this frequency modulated call being 0.45–0.60 kHz.

Links:
FrogMAP Species text
EWT Booklet

Re: AW Amphibian Book: Frogs & Toads - Photos & Descriptions

Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:03 pm

Marbled Reed Frog, Painted Reed Frog Hyperolius marmoratus
Family: Hyperoliidae

Image © Pumbaa
Hyperolius marmoratus subsp taeniatus, Kruger National Park

Image © Alf
Hyperolius marmoratus subsp taeniatus, Kruger National Park, Skukuza nursery

Description
A medium-sized Hyperolius with a maximum body length of about 33 mm. Pupil horizontal. The adult color pattern is extremely variable. The pattern varies from distinct stripes through to vermiculations, dots and splotches, and the colours of the patterns vary from dark brown or black through to yellow and peppermint green. Red inner limbs and weebing are diagnostic. Juvenile males appear to be overall brown during their first breeding season.

Taxonomic Notes
This species is part of the Hyperolius viridiflavus superspecies. It is considered here as a separate species. It should be noted that the taxonomic relationships within this superspecies are still far from settled. Members of this superspecies, which consists of a large number of forms that are distributed, generally allopatrically, throughout the tropical African savanna, have a common morphology, voice and ecology, but with widely differing dorsal patterns.

Distribution
This species ranges from northern Mozambique, through eastern Malawi and eastern Zimbabwe to Swaziland and eastern and southern South Africa. The western parts of the range in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces of South Africa probably represent recent spread at higher altitudes. It has also extended its range along the south coast of South Africa (it originally did not occur west of Tstitsikamma).

Habitat
It is associated in with emergent vegetation at the margins of swamps, rivers and lakes in all types of savannah, grassland and bush land, as well as many human-modified habitats, including cultivated land, towns and gardens. It spreads rapidly into recently created waterbodies.

Reproduction
It breeds in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, ranging from very small to very large ponds, usually using permanent, but often also in temporary, waterbodies.
At dusk they descend to the pond where males take up specific call sites (which they return to on consecutive nights) and call consistently from dusk to just after midnight. Where present, tall emergent plants such as reeds and sedges are favored as call sites, but males will also call from trees, grasses, bushes, floating vegetation or even bare soil at the water’s edge. Gravid females enter the pond shortly after dusk and usually select a mate within a few hours. After several hours in axillary amplexus, the eggs are laid in water. Females have been observed to lay more than one clutch of eggs per season with a month long interval between layings. Between 150 and 650 eggs are laid in flattened clumps of about 20, on the surface of submerged leaves, stalks or stones or amongst the roots of aquatic plants. Tadpoles hatch within 5 days and metamorphosis takes about 6-8 weeks.

Behavior
The adults aestivate during the dry season, and have been found sheltering some distance from their breeding sites in vegetation or under logs and stones. During this time they often take up residence inside houses, where they conceal themselves behind cupboards, pelmets, pictures and in toilet cisterns.

Links: Vincent Carruthers: Frogs and Frogging in Southern Africa; ADW; FrogMAP Species text

Image © PJL
Hyperolius marmoratus marmoratus

Image © PJL
Hyperolius marmoratus marmoratus Garden in PE

Image © PJL
Hyperolius marmoratus verrucosus

Image © PJL
Hyperolius marmoratus verrucosus

Image © PJL
Hyperolius marmoratus verrucosus

Re: AW Amphibian Book: Frogs & Toads - Photos & Descriptions

Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:48 am

Western Leopard Toad Amietophrynus pantherinus
Family: Bufonidae

Image

Description
These toads can reach the impressive size of about 14 cm in body length and can live up to 13 years. They have a rough skin which has a pattern of chocolate to reddish-brown patches with a bright yellow or black edging, on a pink or grey background usually a yellow stripe running the length of the back between the patches. The underside is granular and cream coloured, with a darker throat in males. The eyes are relatively large with horizontally elliptical pupils.

Distribution
Two macro-populations exist, broadly referred to as the Cape Town and Overberg clusters. Its natural foraging habitats is Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, falling within several vegetation types including Cape Flats Sand Plain Fynbos and Cape Flats Dune Strandveld.

Habitat
The species is not restricted to pristine habitat as much of its historical feeding grounds currently fall under residential suburbs, hence leopard toads are often found living in suburban gardens. Breeding habitat includes swamps, freshwater lakes, intermittent freshwater lakes, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marshes, urban riverine watercourses, natural ponds and garden ponds.

Reproduction
Breeding occurs mainly in August when the toads return to their native wetland ponds to breed. Breeding depends mainly on rainfall and temperature. The female deposits thousands of eggs in a string of jelly. Metamorphosis takes more than 10 weeks from a toadlet/tadpole to a toad and it takes 1 to 3 years to reach maturity for males and 2 to 6 years for females.

Behaviour
They are not great swimmers as their feet are not as webbed as frogs feet. They spend most of their time away from water but do have to live fairly close to wetlands for breeding. They eats snails, bugs, beetles, earthworms and caterpillars. They generally call at night and tend to call in choruses of up to 50 toads

Conservation status
The Western Leopard Toad is classified according to the IUCN Red List as an Endangered species. This is based on: its restricted distribution and habitat, habitat that is severely fragmented; and a continuing decline in the extent of distribution, area and quality of habitat, and the number of locations/populations and mature individuals.

Volunteers thus play a critical role in conservation efforts for the species. These volunteers are mainly involved during breeding season migrations, which fall between late July and early September, timed with the arrival of the first post-winter warm weather. It is at this time when the highest number of individuals are threatened, as individuals cross busy roads to and from local breeding habitat. Large-scale efforts across the distribution incur over nights during this time to move toads over roads, collect data and flag down motorists. Since March 2011 road signs have also been placed at ten of these crossings to alert motorists. It is envisaged that the signs would encourage motorists to slow down and take heed of the amphibians, especially at night.

Links: Vincent Carruthers: Frogs and Frogging in Southern Africa
http://www.africanpenguin.co.za/toadfacts.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_leopard_toad
FrogMAP Species text: http://frogmap.adu.org.za/Species_text.php?sp=345

Re: AW Amphibian Book: Frogs & Toads - Photos & Descriptions

Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:57 am

Common River Frog, Angola River Frog Amietia quecketti, Amietia angolensis, formerly Afrana/Rana angolensis (Gewone Graspadda)
Family: Pyxicephalidae

Image © Joan
Kruger National Park, Pretoriuskop area

Description
This is a large frog (up to 90 mm long) with long legs. Its brown and greenish blotched appearance blends in well with both mud and vegetation.
The dorsal color and markings are variable, usually browns, greens and yellows, sometimes with darker marks, often with a stripe down the spine. Viewed from above, the eyes bulge beyond the outline of the head. White below, often with mottling on the throat.
Dorsal texture is also variable, from smooth to ridged. The tympanum is visible and slightly larger than ½ the diameter of the eye. A fold of skin curves from the eye to the arm over the tympanum. Toes are webbed, usually with only the last section of the longest toe free of webbing, but webbing is variable among populations.

Distribution
This species ranges widely in eastern and southern Africa, occurring mainly in upland areas (especially in the tropics) from Eritrea and Ethiopia south to southern Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, and Angola. It occurs from sea level to 2,000m asl in South Africa 2,800m asl in East Africa and 3,100m asl in Ethiopia. It occurs in extreme southern Namibia and in the Caprivi Strip. It is found in the eastern half of South Africa.

Habitat
Permanent water surrounded by dense herbaceous vegetation, in grassland, forests, savannah and agricultural land. It prefers shallow water, including ponds, grassland streams and rivers, and breeds in still water and on the edges of streams.

Reproduction
Breeding takes place in shallow water along the edges of pools, dams, streams and slow-flowing rivers. Pairs of frogs lay single eggs in small still areas in streams from October to April. Clutches of 400–500 eggs are laid in shallow water in ponds on the edges of streams in forest and in open areas.

Call
Males call from the water’s edge, often partially submerged. Two different calls, usually emitted in succession, consist of a sharp rattle and a brief croak, kikikikik-kereoow.

Links: Vincent Carruthers: Frogs and Frogging in Southern Africa; FrogMAP Species text; Seasonal migration and reproductive behaviour of the
Common River Frog (Amietia quecketti)