Frog of the Week

Rose’s Ghost Frog (Heleophryne rosei)

Rose Ghost Frog
photo by Vincent Carruthers

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Common Name: Rose’s Ghost Frog or Table Mountain Ghost Frog
Scientific Name: Heleophryne rosei
Family: Heleophrynidae – Ghost Frog family
Location: South Africa
Female Size: 2.3 inches (60 mm)
Male Size: 1.9 inches (50 mm)

The Rose’s Ghost Frog is located in a small area on the Table Mountain in South Africa, hence another name for the frog, the Table Mountain Ghost Frog. They like mountain areas with high rainfall and clear, swift streams. Due to the swift streams, the tadpoles of the species have suction cup mouths and are capable of using them to climb rocks and waterfalls. These tadpoles take a long time to complete their metamorphosis – over a year.

The Rose’s Ghost Frog faces a variety of threats from man, hence why they are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as critically endangered. Only a handful of adult frogs have ever been found. Natural fires in the region have been suppressed, allowing bush to encroach. The streams that they call home have been diverted for reservoirs. Also, plantations of exotic plants have clogged up the streams. The future of the frog doesn’t look bright.

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