Olive Toad, Eastern Olive Toad Amietophrynus garmani, Bufo garmani
Balule camp. Kruger National ParkDiagnostic Description
A large toad with long, distinct parotid glands. The tympanum is visible. Toes are webbed only slightly at the base. The back is warty and light brown with paired, regular darker square patches. Some of the markings may have a reddish tinge. Occasionally there is a thin line down the spine. Patches behind the eyes are not fused into a bar as in the Raucous Toad. No patches on the snout. Wite below with granular skin. Male has a darl throat. Red colouring on the inner legs.
Similar species: A. garmani
can be confused with A. maculatus, A. xeros
and A. gutturalis
. Juveniles of all members of this genus are difficult to distinguish. A. garmani
lacks the light cross on the head or light band between the eyes that is typically seen in A. maculatus
, and A. xeros. A. garmani
also lacks dark markings on the snout in contrast to many other Amietophrynus
Up to 10 cm. Males usually measure 63-72 mm and females 55-74 mm in snout-vent length.DistributionA. garmani
has a wide distribution in the eastern savannas of Africa, ranging from Somalia in the north to South Africa in the south. It occurs in northern KwaZulu-Natal and extends to the northwest through the lowveld of Swaziland, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, and westward along the Limpopo River valley.
Some confusion exists as to the western limit of the distribution of A. garmani
, as it is difficult to distinguish this species from the morphologically similar A. poweri
(Western Olive Toad). While the advertisement call of A. garmani
has a relatively slower pulse rate and shorter duration than that of A. poweri
, this can be determined only by sonagraphic analysis.
Distribution records for these two species A. garmani
and A. poweri
have been combined and are presented here in a single map.Habitat
This species inhabits various bushveld vegetation types in the Savanna Biome and seems to prefer well-wooded, low-lying areas with high daytime temperatures. During the day, individuals may be found under fallen logs, rocks and mats of vegetation, or beneath any object that provides shelter around houses. In northern Kruger National Park, specimens have been found in abandoned termitaria.
Breeding usually occurs in small, shallow, temporary water bodies, but occasionally the quiet backwaters of rivers and pools along small, slow-flowing streams are used. They also breed in artificial water bodies such as farm dams and ornamental ponds around homesteads. In the urban environment, A. garmani
is less common than A. gutturalis
Their prey includes beetles, termites, moths, insect larvae and other small invertebrates. After rain, when alate termites emerge, these toads congregate around the openings of termitaria where they gorge themselves on alates.Predators
The eggs of are eaten by the Serrated Hinged Terrapin Pelusios sinuatus
, Müller’s Platanna Xenopus muelleri
, and by their own tadpoles, while the adult frogs are taken by young crocodiles. Other predators include various small carnivores, snakes and birds. Reproduction
Most breeding takes place during spring and summer, continuing into January and occasionally February. Breeding commences after the first substantial spring rains, or earlier if artificial water bodies such as garden ponds are available.
Males call from the edges of water bodies, often forming small choruses. They exhibit call-site fidelity, returning to the same site even when removed and released a considerable distance away. Amplexus is axillary, and displacement of amplexing males is frequent, with 'knots' of several males and a single female forming at times. Eggs are laid in double strands containing up to 12 000–20 000 eggs. The eggs hatch within 24 hours; metamorphosis takes place after 64 days. Tadpoles assume a lighter or darker colouring to match the substrate.Call
A loud bray of about a third of a second, emitted once a second. The call is described as a loud kwaak
IUCN (Red List) status: Least Concern (LC).
Links: FrogMAP Species text
; AFRICAN AMPHIBIANS LIFEDESK
; Vincent Carruthers: Frogs and Frogging in Southern Africa