Amphibians (frogs)

Sand Rain Frog, Rose's Rain Frog / Sand Reƫnpadda, Rose se Reƫnpadda, Rose se Blaasoppadda

Breviceps rosei

Size Adult frogs attain a body length of 36 mm.

Description This frog has a squat, rotund body with a short, narrow head which has a relatively large eye, horizontally elliptical pupil, hidden tympanum, flat face and narrow mouth. The limbs are short and stumpy (shorter than the body width) and the fingers and toes lack webbing and adhesive discs. The palm of the hand has moderately developed tubercles and the basal subarticular tubercles are single. The inner and outer toes are not noticeably longer than they are wide, being about equal; and the outer toe reaches the inner tubercle of the fourth toe. The body surface has a relatively smooth texture. On the upper side, a uniformly light brown scalloped band runs down the middle of the back and this often contains a thin, pale, vertebral stripe. The rest of the upper side is generally brown but varies in shading and markings. There is a dark streak running from the eye to the region of the arm. The underside is generally white to light beige in colour with scattered dark flecks; and males are known to have a concentration of dark flecks on the throat. The advertisement call is a short whistle which may be repeated continuously at a rate of about one call per second.

Biology This frog is a burrowing species that spends most of its time underground and does not inhabit water. It occurs in sandy, coastal areas that are well covered in vegetation. When disturbed, these frogs have the ability to inflate their bodies dramatically as a defence mechanism to deter predators.

Breeding activity is dependent on damp conditions caused by rain showers or heavy mist, and mainly occurs in winter and spring. When conditions are suitable for breeding, the males call day and night, but mostly at night, to attract females. They call from ground level and have also been observed calling from elevated positions in bushes, up to a metre above the ground. Mating pairs are formed on the surface of the ground and, while in amplexus, the frogs bury themselves backwards into the soil. Although the laid eggs of this species have never been found, rain frogs are known to lay their eggs in underground nests. Metamorphosis takes place inside the egg capsules with the young hatching as fully formed froglets.

Distribution The Sand Rain Frog is endemic to the coastal areas of the Western Cape Province , with a distribution that extends from Lambert's Bay on the west coast to Gouritsmond on the south coast. It is possible that the populations on the south coast are of a different species but this requires further study.

Distribution in Greater Cedarberg Biodiversity Corridor This species occurs throughout the coastal zone of the corridor area where there is suitable habitat.

Conservation Status Not threatened.

Threats Coastal and agricultural developments have reduced, and continue to reduce, this species' area of occupancy but it is not a threatened species at present.

Current studies None in particular but this species was assessed in the Atlas and Red Data Book of the Frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (published in 2004).


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