20 Interesting Black Rain Frog Facts

Black Rain Frog Facts

The black rain frog is a funny-looking, puffed-up frog that is only found on the forested slopes of the southern Cape and South Africa. Here are some interesting black rain frog facts,

Black Rain Frog
Black Rain Frog

Image Source: Wikimedia

Black Rain Frog Facts

  • The scientific name of the black rainfrog is Breviceps fuscus and it is commonly known by different names such as plain rainfrog, brown short-headed frog, and Tsitsikamma rainfrog.
  • The frog species belongs to the family Brevicipitidae, and it is endemic to the southern coast of South Africa.
  • The appearance of a black rainfrog comes with a round body with short limbs and toes. The feet of frog species are inward, which allows them to burrow much more effectively. The body length is between 40 and 51 mm, and the average lifespan of frog species is between 4 and 15 years.
  • The skin coloration is typically dark brown or nearly black, and there is a slightly lighter ventrum without any pigmented patterns. The body is squat and the legs are rather short, which gives frog species a distinctive, distinctive avocado-like appearance.
  • The black rain frog is distributed across the southern slopes of the Cape Fold Belt, from Swellendam to the Outeniqua Mountains, and found at an elevation of over 1,000 m (3,300 ft). It prefers to thrive in near-dislodged sand piles due to their burrowing behaviour.
  • Black rainfrogs want to stay away from water and are hence found in tunnels up to 150 mm deep or among vegetation up to about 30 cm above the ground. They spend most of the time inside the underground to avoid water and are primarily nocturnals who emerge at night to scavenge for food and sometimes mate.
  • When mating season comes, the male calls from burrows while guarding the eggs. They make a short call with a dominant frequency of up to 1.8 kHz, and the eggs are laid within burrows with small openings that are between 30 and 40 mm deep. Each near coin consists of approximately 42–43 yellow eggs that are 5 mm in diameter inside 8 mm capsules.

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  • The female species secretes a sticky substance that glues the male to their back, and this ensures that when she lays her eggs, the male is in a position to fertilise the released eggs.
  • There is no free-living larval stage for the black rain frog, which means the species shows direct development, and the young emerge from the egg as smaller versions of the adults and are known as froglets.
  • The black rain frog is not able to jump or swim like other frog species because of their unique body shape, and hence buries themselves up to 20 centimetres (7.9 in) to defend themselves from predators.
  • They also seen to puff up their bodies to make them up to seven times larger as a defence mechanism from predators such as bush pigs, birds, and snakes. Even they used to fill up their bodies with air in their burrows to jam themselves, preventing snakes from pulling them out of the burrow.
  • The exact population of black rain frogs is not known; however, the population is locally abundant, but they are threatened by habitat loss, afforestation, and frequent fires.
  • The name of the frig comes from the dark coloration of this species, which is usually dark brown or black. It was first described by John Hewitt in the year 1925, after the specimen was collected in Knysna.
  • The dietary habit of the black rain frog is insectivores in nature and feeds on small insects, spiders, insect larvae, and worms. The main source of protein is crickets, and they are capable of eating crickets that are bigger in size and can go through impaction.
  • The original classification of black rain frogs was as a member of the Microhylidae; however, after polygenic research, they are classified in the family Brevicipitidae, and other frogs are included in the same genus.
  • The frog species can move at a top speed of 5 kph (3 mph), and the main predators are snakes and raptors. There is evidence that bush pigs will also feed on several of these frogs in a single night when they come out in large numbers.
  • Black rain frogs are an important part of the natural ecosystem since they prevent overpopulation of insects and also increase nutrient flow through the soil through their burrowing activities.
  • The skin of black rainfrogs is covered in small bumps called ‘tubercles’ that look like warts, and these bumps can appear poisonous to certain predators.
  • The black rainfrog is not able to swim and can survive in areas with no open water sources. They are able to float and will drown if they are not able to reach land quickly.
  • The male species are much smaller than females and sometimes measure half the size of females. There are certain tribes that feel that these frog species can determine weather and can bring and stop rain.

Featured image source: Dave

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