Frog of the Week

Common Rain Frog (Breviceps adspersus)

Common Rain Frog
Common Rain Frog – photo by wikiuser Ryanvanhuyssteen

Common English Names: Common Rain Frog or Bushveld Rain Frog
Scientific Name: Breviceps adspersus
Family: Brevicipitidae – Rain Frog family
Location: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Size: 2.25 inches long (5.7 cm)

The Common Rain Frog is one of the many rain frog species from Sub-Saharan Africa. This cute, round frog lives most of its live in burrows underground. They are mostly seen after the heavy rains when they leave their burrows to come to the surface to hunt for food and to mate. It’s the reason they are named the Rain Frogs.

Males will start calling in early October but won’t form strong choruses until late October / early November. Calls will last until late December / early January. Once the female selects the male, the smaller male will stick to the back of the female with some sticky secretion. Removing the male from the female can damage their skin. The female will start to dig into the ground with the male on their back. She will make a chamber for herself and her eggs there. The eggs are laid in a foam to protect the eggs and the tadpoles eventually hatch there.

Here’s a nice video explaining it and showing it. Narrated by the GOAT Sir David Attenborough

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and are thought to have a large population.

Frog of the Week

Imitating Poison Dart Frog (Ranitomeya imitator)

Imitating Poison Dart Frog
photo by John P Clare

Common Name: Imitating Poison Dart Frog, Mimic Poison Dart Frog
Scientific Name: Ranitomeya imitator
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Location: Peru
Maximum Size: .8 inches (2.2 cm), average .5 inches (1.3 cm)

The Imitating Poison Dart Frog lives in the montane forests and lowland tropical forests of the eastern Andes in Peru. They are active during the day amongst the leaf litter with no fear of predators thanks to its appearance.

The poison of the Imitating Poison Dart Frog is weak compared to other species. The frog imitates the colors of other more poisonous frogs to fool predators. There are a variety of different morphs. The picture at the top is of the Varadero morph, which mimics the orange and blue Ranitomeya fantastica morph. There are 3 different species that the frog mimics.

Imitating Poison Dart Frog

The Imitating Poison Dart Frogs are great parents. They are also the only monogamous amphibian, pairing with only one frog for life. The females lay a pair of eggs on a plant leaf. One is a feeder egg, which the tadpoles feed off of. The males are highly territorial, threatening other frogs that come near the eggs. Once the tadpoles grow bigger, the males move the tadpoles one by one to a new area in a plant. The water in the plant isn’t the best for the tadpoles, so both parents take care of the tadpoles.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Imitating Poison Dart Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frogs are common throughout their relatively large range. There could be future issues with the increasing destruction of their habitat to make room for urban and farming areas. Additionally, increased demand in the pet trade for the frog could increasing illegal capture of wild frogs. This would decrease the population overtime.