Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to the south-western Western Cape Province of South Africa, where it ranges from the central Cape Peninsula in the south, to west of Citrusdal in the north. There is a distribution gap in the Swartland. It ranges from sea level up to 1,000 m asl. Its Extent of Occurrence is 6,700 km2, with an Area of Occupancy estimated to be 10% of its Extent of Occurrence.
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B. gibbosus is endemic to South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program)

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Physical Description

Morphology

Females reach 80 mm in length and males are smaller (De Villiers 1988). The dorsal surface is rough in texture, and mottled in light and dark brown. A broad, central, creamy band with deeply serrated, dark edges is sometimes present, but more often is broken up to form two longitudinal rows of irregular, creamy patches. The ventrum is creamy white with brown mottling and has a rough texture (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

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Look Alikes

Comparisons

The only species with which B. gibbosus sometimes shares habitat is the much smaller B. montanus, which has a higher pitched, whistle-like call. The calls of B. fuscus and B. acutirostris are somewhat similar to those of B. gibbosus but these species are not sympatric with gibbosus (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program)

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is a burrowing frog of renosterveld fynbos heathland. It also occurs in disturbed habitats, such as pine plantations and gardens and there is ongoing decline in its habitat over much of its range. It breeds by development occurring directly in subterranean nests with up to 22 froglets recorded for this species (Minter et al. 2004), and is not associated with water.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Habitat and Ecology

De Villiers (1988b) found that most localities where B. gibbosus occurs have fine grained, heavy substrates (loamy soils and clays) derived from shales or granites. B. gibbosus also occurs in disturbed and altered habitats, such as pine plantations and suburban gardens (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Activity and Special Behaviors

Channing (2001) reports that B. gibbosus survives the long, dry summers by aestivation underground. Individuals produce a thin cocoon around themselves, with nostrils plugged and body inflated (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

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Reproduction

Advertisement Call

B. gibbosus has a distinctive call, being more guttural (lower pitched and distinctly pulsed) than any other rain frog (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Calling commences with the first winter rains (late April) and continues through to November. Calling occurs day and night in wet weather. Calling peaks at the beginning of winter and in spring, from late August to October, suggesting that warmer temperatures stimulate calling. Although calling usually occurs during and after rain showers, it sometimes precedes the rain by a few hours suggesting that this species may be able to detect the drop in barometric pressure that occurs in advance of a frontal weather system. Poynton and Pritchard (1976) noted a similar apparent connection between barometric pressure and surface activity in B. adspersus and B. verrucosus. Male B. gibbosus call from the surface, that is, they have never been observed calling from elevated perches as in some other Breviceps species. Calling males are usually well hidden under vegetation, in shallow depressions in the substrate (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

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As in other Breviceps species, adhesive amplexus is employed when mating (Wager, 1965). In dense choruses, males will attempt to clasp any moving object in the vicinity, including other males (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG), IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group

Reviewer/s
Angulo, A. & Cox, N.A.

Contributor/s
Channing, A., Turner, A., de Villiers, A., Harvey, J., Tarrant, J., Measey, J., Tolley, K., Minter, L., du Preez, L., Burger, M., Cunningham, M. & Davies, S.

Justification
Listed as Near Threatened because even though its distribution is not considered to be severely fragmented and it occurs in >10 locations, it has a limited extent of occurrence and continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.

History
  • 2004
    Vulnerable
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
  • 1994
    Vulnerable
    (Groombridge 1994)
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IUCN Red List Category and Justification of Conservation Status

B. gibbosus was previously listed as Vulnerable (McLachlan 1978; Branch 1988) and Near Threatened (Harrison et al. 2001) based on a restricted extent of occurrence and area of occupancy, an inferred drastic reduction and fragmentation of its range by urban and agricultural development (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

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Population

Population
It can be relatively common in parts of its range. Its distribution is not considered to be severely fragmented (as less than half of the individuals can be found in isolated patches) and it is estimated to occur in over 10 locations.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Although it is somewhat adaptable, its habitat has been severely reduced and fragmented by agricultural expansion in much of its range and urban development in parts of its range. It is possibly impacted by the use of pesticides, and herbicides, and this might account for the apparent absence of the species from most renosterveld fragments in the Swartland, north of Cape Town.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No research or conservation actions are currently prioritised for this species. However, it would be important to discover the influence of pollution from pesticides on this and other species in the genus. Population estimates are required in order to conduct monitoring, especially in areas of land transformation. It occurs in several protected areas, including Cape Peninsula National Park, Helderberg Nature Reserve, and Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve.
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Wikipedia

Cape rain frog

The cape rain frog or giant rain frog (Breviceps gibbosus) is a species of frog in the Brevicipitidae family.[2] It is endemic to South Africa, where it inhabits Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, known as fynbos, pastureland on farms, rural gardens, and urban areas. It is threatened by causes of habitat loss, such as urban sprawl and spread of agriculture.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG), IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, 2010. Breviceps gibbosus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2.
  2. ^ Frost, Darrel R. (2013). "Names described as 'Breviceps gibbosus'". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.6 (9 January 2013). Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
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