Rose's ghost frog
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2011)|
This is a moderately sized frog, with the larger female up to 2.4 in (60 mm) and the smaller male up to 2 in (50 mm) in length. The coloration of adults is striking, often a pale green background with purple to brown blotches. The fingers and toes have large, triangular terminal discs. A rudimentary thumb is present as a distinct inner metacarpal tubercle. The feet are half webbed, with one phalanx of the fifth toe free of web. The tadpole has neither an upper nor lower jaw sheath, but up to 17 rows of posterior labial teeth. The tadpole also has a large oral disc and is able to climb up wet vertical rock faces.
The typical habitat of this frog includes moist, forested gorges, with vertical rock faces covered with moss.
The frogs are found on rock ledges or up in vegetation at night, retreating under large rocks and in cracks of rocks during the day.
These frogs eat a range of small insects and other forest arthropods.
Breeding starts in November when the streams are low but the temperature is high. The male's secondary sexual characteristics include a number of small black spines on the outside surfaces of the forearms, on the back, and on the top of the back legs. The eggs have not been found, but in other species they are deposited under rocks in streams. The tadpoles develop for about 12 months.
This species is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN and in the South African Red Data Book. The population is small, geographically restricted, and threatened by the plantations of pines on the mountain that cause the streams to dry up.