Amphibians (frogs)

Clicking Stream Frog, Clicking Grass Frog, Spotted Stream Frog, Spotted Grass Frog, Gray's Stream Frog, Gray's Spotted Frog / Kliekpadda

 

Strongylopus grayii

Size Adult females may attain a body length of 64 mm but males are smaller.

Description This species has an angular body, prominent snout and powerful hindlimbs. The 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 as far as (but not beyond) the hand when the animal is sitting. There is no hard ridge on the heel of each hind foot nor discs on the toes. The eye has a horizontally elliptical pupil. The upper body surface generally has darker spots on a lighter brown to grey background and a vertebral stripe or band of variable width is common. The underside is generally smooth and white. The advertisement call is a short click repeated with monotonous regularity.

Biology The clicking stream frog occurs in both the winter and summer rainfall regions over a wide altitudinal range (from the mountains to sea level). It breeds in virtually any shallow water body where there is adequate vegetation cover – e.g. ponds, pans, vleis, dams, seeps, ditches – and can survive well in modified habitat. Despite its common name of “stream frog”, this species does not seem to breed in the main part of streams or rivers but in the still waters, seeps and damp areas adjoining them. In general, they are common wetland frogs and occur in high densities in suitable habitat.

This species breeds during summer in the summer rainfall region and winter in the winter rainfall region. The males are known to call in high densities both during the day and night in the rainy season. However, they can be difficult to find as they call from well concealed positions amongst vegetation either in or near water. The eggs are usually laid out of water in a damp spot up to 30 cm from the water's edge. They are laid singly or in groups and may number from 200-350 per clutch. The embryos emerge from the egg capsules and enter the water within 5-10 days during wet weather, but have also been recorded to remain in the capsules for 63 days as a result of dry weather. They develop into large, brown benthic tadpoles of up to about 50 mm in length and take from 3-6 months to change into frogs.

Distribution This species has a wide distribution in the Western Cape Province and this extends into the eastern part of the country and as far north as the Limpopo River .

However, this species does not occur in the more arid areas of the country.

Distribution in GCBC The clicking stream frog is a relatively common wetland species in the GCBC but does not occur in the arid inland area of the Tankwa Karoo.

Conservation Status Not threatened.

Threats No serious threats.

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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