Amphibians (frogs)

Banded Stream Frog, Cape Grass Frog, Cape Stream Frog, Mountain Frog, Long-toed Frog / Gebande Stroompadda

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Strongylopus bonaespei

Size Adult frogs attain a body length of about 47 mm.

Description This species has a slender streamlined body with a long pointed snout. The hind legs are long, with the distance from the knee to ankle being longer than half the length of the body, and the fourth toe extends past the hand when the animal is sitting. There is no hard ridge on the heel of each hind foot or discs on the toes. The eye has a horizontally elliptical pupil. The upper body surface generally has light and dark longitudinal stripes in shades of brown, gold, grey, and sometimes red to orange, and the legs are banded across their length. The underside is smooth and white. The advertisement call consists of short squawks repeated at variable intervals and a rapid cackle.

Biology The banded stream frog inhabits montane fynbos from the mountain tops to sea level, where it breeds in shallow seasonal marshy areas and seepages which are well vegetated, usually with long grasses, restios, or sometimes ferns. The frogs are able to jump through this vegetation with amazing agility on being disturbed. This species is predominantly a winter breeder (May to August) but also calls in spring or late summer if conditions are suitable. Calling males are generally widely spaced from one another and dense breeding choruses seem to be seldom heard. They have been found to call from a crouched position on the ground below overhanging vegetation next to water, and from a slightly elevated position spread-eagled between tall grass stems above water. Calling can take place both day and night. The eggs are laid out of water on waterlogged earth (or moss) at the base of, for example, a restio or grass tussock, within about 10-25 cm of temporary pools or shallow runnels of water in seepage areas. The number of eggs laid per clutch has been recorded to vary from 39 to 104. The eggs are laid singly and are generally grouped in clusters or in rows of up to six or seven eggs. Each egg is encased in a jelly capsule averaging about 7 mm in diameter. The eggs develop into benthic tadpoles which complete their metamorphosis in water.

Distribution This frog is almost endemic to the Western Cape where it has a relatively wide distribution through various mountain ranges, and this extends marginally eastwards into the Eastern Cape .

Distribution in GCBC The banded stream frog is probably confined to the mountain fynbos areas of the Corridor.

Conservation status Not listed.

Threats Habitat destruction or degradation in places.

Current studies None in particular which are relevant to this project, but this species was assessed in the Southern African Frog Atlas Project (published in 2004).


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