adspersus

Rain Frog (Breviceps adspersus) by cowyeow on Flickr.

Breviceps adspersus, also commonly called the Blaasop or the Rain Frog, is a common burrowing frog native to southern Africa. It has a round, globular body with a small head and short, robust limbs. Its back is brown, and while dorsal color patterning is highly variable in this species, it is usually marked by a series of light patches paired around the vertebral line. The underside is white and may have dark mottling. Breviceps adspersus is adapted to living on the savanna, favoring sandy and moist habitats but persisting in hot and dry regions including the Kalahari sand dunes. This species is sexually dimorphic, with females significantly larger than males. Like many other microhylid frogs that are fat-bodied burrowers, male B. adspersus glue themselves to the backs of females during amplexus.

The behavior of Breviceps adspersus is highly seasonal. It spends most of the year underground, hibernating in communal burrows during the winter and forming a mucous cocoon around its body to estivate through the dry season. Its emergence in October corresponds with the beginning of the wet season as well as the swarming of termites, its primary source of food. Like other members of its genus, B. adspersus most commonly calls in choruses rather than individually. The breeding period of this species lasts for approximately 4-6 weeks between late November and early January. Large yolk-filled eggs are laid in small clutches underground and develop directly into froglets without passing through a free-living tadpole stage.

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youtube

ADORABLE BURROWING BEHAVIOR

Okay, now I am really seriously going to bed even though there are like ten more videos from my youtube breviceps playlist that I want to post. 

youtube

EVERYTHING THEY DO IS CUTE

THEY’RE JUST SO

FAT

AND

okay, I’m done, goodnight. 

African Bullfrog

Pyxicephalus adspersus

Pyxicephalus translates into box-head, while I couldn’t find anything on adspersus.

Family:  Pyxicephalidae (All found in Sub-Sahara Africa)

Fun Fact: “The majority of their lives are spent estivating underground. Adults will burrow underground using the metatarsal tubercle on their powerful hind legs. Juveniles lack this tubercle and must resort to utilizing an existing burrow made by some other animal. They slough off several layers of their skin’s epidermal cells which form a tough cocoon. Most of their bodily functions slow or shut down all together. This period of dormancy may last a year or more. During the rainy season frogs will sit partially buried with the nose exposed, taking advantage of any smaller animal unfortunate enough to pass by.” (ADW)

Habitat: They are endemic to freshwater ways, savanna, and deserts of Sub-Sahara Africa.

Ecosystem Role: They help keep frog, invertebrate, reptile, small mammals, and small bird populations in check.