Frog of the Week

Desert Rain Frog (Breviceps macrops)

photo by Arie van der Meijden

Common Name: Desert Rain Frog,  Boulenger’s Short-Headed frog
Scientific Name: Breviceps macrops
Family: Brevicipitidae – Rain Frog Family
Location: Namibia and South Africa
Size: 1.8 inches (48 mm)

The Desert Rain Frog spends most of its day burrowing under the ground. It feeds off beetles  and other insects found on dung. They come to the surface to hunt and to breed. Breeding happens between June and October. The males come out during the night to call for the females. The males sometimes call in choruses, where one male calls and the others call after. The frogs mate underground, and lay their eggs there. Females can lay between 12 – 40 eggs. The frogs don’t have a free tadpole stage; instead, they emerge from the eggs as froglets. It’s been said to be the world’s cutest frog.

The Desert Rain Frog is listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The biggest threat to the frogs is habitat loss due to urban development, cattle grazing, and diamond mining. Better conservation of the land is needed to prevent the species from becoming endangered.

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