Frog of the Week

Common Sand Frog (Tomopterna cryptotis)

Common Sand Frog
photo by Simon J. Tonge

Common Name: Common Sand Frog, Cryptic Sand Frog, Catequero Bullfrog, Tremolo Sand Frog
Scientific Name: Tomopterna cryptotis
Family: Pyxiecephalidae – African Bullfrog family
Locations: Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Size: 1.5 – 2 inches (38 – 51 mm)

The Common Sand Frog spends most of its time burrowed in the sands of the sub-Saharan savannahs and grasslands. They come up to the surface to breed at the start of the spring rains. The males call out from the edges of water bodies that are formed by the fresh rain. Once the female arrives, the male grasps her from behind in amplexus. Then, she lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. Females lay between 1000 to 3000 eggs. Tadpoles hatch from the eggs between 1 to 3 days later. Neither parent provide any care for their offspring.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and are presumed to be found throughout it.

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