Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic of the high slopes of the Drakensberg Mountains and Lesotho Highlands, in South Africa and Lesotho. It occurs at 1,800-3,000 m asl.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range Description

Following a review by Channing and Baptista (2013), this species is considered to be endemic to South Africa but widespread within the country, reaching from the south-western Cape east to Rhodes in the Eastern Cape.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

A. fuscigula is found in South Africa; there is an extralimital population occurring in the Naukluft Mountains in Namibia (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Channing, A.

Source: African Amphibians Lifedesk

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Highveld Grasslands Habitat

This species can be found in the Highveld grasslands ecoregion in southern Africa. This ecoregion now provides the last remaining stronghold of a number of grassland species that have suffered major reductions in abundance in the grassland biome, and which are consequently threatened with extinction (e.g. the Blue Crane (Anthropoides paradisea). There is a relatively biodiverse vertebrate fauna, with 608 taxa recorded.

The dominant vegetation comprises grasses, with geophytes and herbs also being well represented. Dominant and diagnostic grass species are Thatching Grass (Hyparrhenia hirta) and Catstail Dropseed Grass (Sporobolus pyramidalis). Non-grassy forbs include False Paperbark Thorn (Acacia sieberiana), Rhus vulgaris, Selago densiflora, Spermacoce natalensis, Aandblom (Kohautia cynanchica), and Phyllanthus glaucophyllus. Relatively high precipitation levels sustain the grasslands during the austral summer, with the mean annual range between 400 to 900 millimetres.

The Highveld grassland ecoregion can be divided into three habitat types: (1) Kalahari/Karoo-highveld transition zone; (2) sweet grasslands; and (3) sour grasslands. In the western half of the ecoregion, a gradual transition occurs from the Karoo/Kalahari-highveld transition zone to the grassland habitats of the Highveld. Shrubs and trees grow in the transition zone, although grasses still dominate this zone.

Bird species richness is relatively high within this ecoregion. However, Botha’s Lark (Spizocorys fringillaris) is the only bird species strictly endemic to the ecoregion, where it inhabits heavily grazed grassland. An additional six avian species are near-endemics including White-winged Flufftail (Sarothrura ayresii), Blue Korhaan (Eupodotis caerulescens), White-bellied Bustard (Eupodotis senegalensis), Rudd’s lark (Heteromirafra ruddi), the Near Threatened Melodious lark (Mirafra cheniana), Buff-streaked chat (Saxicola bifasciatus), and the Vulnerable Yellow-breasted pipit (Anthus chloris).

This ecoregion contains a higher number of mammals, although only the Orange Mouse (Mus orangiae) is restricted to the ecoregion, and the Rough-haired Golden Mole (Chrysospalax villosa) is near-endemic. The ecoregion also supports populations of several large mammal species, some of which are rare in southern Africa (Stuart and Stuart 1995). Among these are the Vulnerable Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Brown Hyena (Hyaena brunnea), African Civet Cat (Civettictis civetta), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Sable Antelope (Hippotragus niger), Ground Pangolin (Manis temminckii), Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis), African Striped Weasel (Poecilogale albinucha), Aardwolf (Proteles cristatus), Oribi (Ourebia ourebi), and Hartmann's Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra hartmannae). Herds of large mammals, including Black Wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou) and White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), previously occurred in the Highveld grasslands, but were extirpated by the local human population. Other notable mammalian taxa occurring in the ecoregion include the Vulnerable Juliana's golden mole (Neamblysomus julianae).

Relatively few reptile species occur within the Highveld grasslands, mainly due to its cool climate. However, the ecoregion supports some of Africa’s most characteristic reptile species, including Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), African Rock-python (Python sebae), Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus) and Veld Monitor (Varanus albigularis albigularis). There are also two strictly endemic reptiles: Giant Girdled Lizard (Cordylus giganteus) and Agama aculeata distanti (Branch 1998). Several additional reptile species are near-endemics, including Drakensberg Rock gecko (Afroedura niravia), the Vulnerable Giant Girdled Lizard (Cordylus giganteus), and Breyer's Whip Lizard (Tetradactylus breyeri) (Branch 1998).

Twenty-nine amphibians occur within the ecoregion but none are endemic (Passmore and Carruthers 1995). Example anuran species in the Highveld grasslands are the Kimberley Toad (Amietophrynus poweri), African Dwarf Toad (Poyntonophrynus vertebralis), who breeds in temporary shallow pans, freshwater pools or depressions containing rainwater; the Red Toad (Schismaderma carens); Cape River Frog (Amietia fuscigula). endemic of the high slopes of the Drakensberg Mountains and Lesotho Highlands; South African Snake-necked Frog (Phrynomantis bifasciatus), typically found under loose sand below large rocks or boulders.

  • C. Michael Hogan & World Wildlife Fund. 2015. Highveld grasslands. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and Environment. Washington DC
  • J.P.H. Acocks. 1988. Veld types of South Africa. Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa 57: 1-146. (An update of the first edition published in 1953),
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© C.Michael Hogan and World Wildlife Fund

Supplier: C. Michael Hogan

Trusted

Article rating from 1 person

Average rating: 5.0 of 5

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It lives in high-altitude riverine grassland. It breeds in seepage areas on the rocky banks of slow-flowing streams, or near the edges of pools. It lays its eggs in water.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is a species of grassland and fynbos heath land. It survives in altered habitats such as pastureland and agricultural land. It breeds in well-vegetated streams, rivers, and in ponds and dams in dry areas.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat and Ecology

A. fuscigula inhabits mainly the Grassland and Fynbos biomes, but fragmented populations occur in the southwestern parts of the arid Succulent Karoo and Nama Karoo biomes. It occurs in both winter- and summer rainfall areas, where annual precipitation ranges from 200 mm in the Karoo to >3000 mm on the Cape fold mountains. A. fuscigula uses the same habitat throughout the year. It is associated with permanent springs, ponds and farm dams in the dry northwest, while elsewhere it occurs along most well-vegetated waterways (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Channing, A.

Source: African Amphibians Lifedesk

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Amietia fuscigula tested positive for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (chytrid fungus that causes the disease chytridiomycosis) in Stutterheim, South Africa in 2002 (Lane et al. 2003). The species also tested positive in Gharries in 1996, Port Elizabeth, Kammieskroon, Kammiesberg, Springbok and Goegap NR in 2004 (Weldon 2005).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Bergmann, Travis

Source: African Amphibians Lifedesk

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Rose (1962) and Channing (1979) describe that these frogs eat anything that comes within reach, mostly insects. Food records include a mouse, other frogs, including conspecific frogs, and crabs (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Channing, A.

Source: African Amphibians Lifedesk

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Breeding takes place throughout the year, with a peak in the rainy season. Males often call from the surface of deep water, and can be heard calling during the day and night (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Channing, A.

Source: African Amphibians Lifedesk

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Amietia fuscigula

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group

Reviewer/s
Stuart, S.N.

Contributor/s
Channing, A. & Minter, L.

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its relatively wide distribution and presumed large population.

History
  • 2004
    Least Concern
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2014

Assessor/s
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group

Reviewer/s
Angulo, A. & Stuart, S.N.

Contributor/s
Channing, A. & Minter, L.

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats and a presumed large population.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

IUCN Red List Category and Justification of Conservation Status

This widespread species is not threatened and no special conservation measures are needed (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Channing, A.

Source: African Amphibians Lifedesk

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
It is an uncommon species. There have only been two records since 1975, but this is probably a result of limited survey effort.

Population Trend
Unknown
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
It is a common species, with large breeding aggregations.

Population Trend
Stable
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
Despite its rarity, it faces few threats due to the remoteness of its habitat. However, being a high-altitude stream-breeder, it is a candidate species for chytridiomycosis.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Major Threats
It is not significantly threatened, it is an adaptable species.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Its range includes uKhahlamba-Drakensburg Park. More research within the species' range is needed, especially monitoring for any chytridiomycosis impacts.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It occurs in many protected areas.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Cape river frog

The Cape river frog (Amietia fuscigula) is a species of frog in the family Pyxicephalidae named for the Cape of Good Hope. It was formerly placed in the family Ranidae. It occurs widely in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces of South Africa. A newly-described species, A. poyntoni, was split from this species in 2013.[1]

General description[edit]

Amietia fuscigula is a fairly large, typical frog with a snout-to-vent measurement of up to about 125 mm. The snout is slightly rounded. It has a powerful, athletic build with long hind legs and feet, well adapted for leaping, but also well webbed; the species is a powerful swimmer. The fore feet are not webbed. When the animal sits at rest on a level surface, the tip of the longest rear toe reaches to directly below the tympanum.

The ventral skin is smooth and white, except for dark mottling on the throat. The mottling inspired the specific epithet fuscigula: Latin for "dusky throated". In some specimens, the mottling extends to the belly. The dorsal skin bears a modest sprinkling of small, rounded protuberances and segments of longitudinal ridges. The colour scheme is variable, ranging from dark- through light-brown, also commonly green or olive, or with green streaks. The back and limbs are more or less conspicuously blotched with darker irregular spots.

Little sexual dimorphism is noted, but the male in breeding season bears a dark, swollen nuptial pad on each thumb.

The eye and tympanum are prominent; the diameter of the tympanum is barely smaller than that of the eye.[2]

Amietia fuscigula, an olive-coloured specimen in the Western Cape, human-habituated in a suburban garden.

Habitat[edit]

The Cape river frog occurs in a wide range of temperate to tropical habitats wherever fresh water is at least sufficient seasonally for breeding, including arable land, pastureland, savanna, shrubland, fynbos, grassland, rivers, swamps, freshwater lakes, marshes and springs, water storage areas, ponds, dams, and sewage treatment areas. Sometimes they even will occupy and breed in domestic water containers such as water butts or horse troughs.

Habits[edit]

Amietia fuscigula is largely diurnal, though its call and breeding activity are mainly nocturnal or crepuscular. It prefers permanent water and commonly colonises dams and other artificial water bodies, but in some regions it is limited to seasonal transient water bodies. Where it occupies farm dams, it commonly emerges during the morning and takes up an inconspicuous position on the bank where it basks until the sun becomes too intense near noon. While basking, it is much sought by predators such as herons and is accordingly shy; one of its most familiar manifestations is a series of plops as frogs successively leap into the water while any threat walks by.[3] On entering the water, the alarmed frog dives strongly and either hides under the shelter of logs or stones, or scuttles briefly about the mud, obscuring itself under the opaque cloud it has made in the water. However, in situations such as garden ponds, it readily becomes habituated to inoffensive human presence.

The voice is confusingly variable, particularly where it occurs together with several other noisy species. Males may call at any time of the year in various regions, but calling peaks in the breeding season. Typically, a call begins with a rattle of clicks about 0.1 seconds apart, like a slowly played güiro or a thumbnail run over the teeth of a comb, followed by a short series of brief croaks. Where a number of calling males compete, the calls rise in pitch, volume, and speed.[2]

It is an active opportunistic predator, readily feeding on moderately sized invertebrates such as crickets, but also attacks small reptiles, mammals, and amphibians, including smaller members of its own species.

When it occupies streams and ditches, the Cape river frog prefers deep ponds such as occur below inlets and races where the turbulent flow hollows out convenient shelters. It also prefers deep, still water for its breeding, where its tadpoles grow fairly slowly, but achieve a large size; in shallow streams, they mature more rapidly into smaller juvenile frogs. A typical size for a mature tadpole is about 80 mm, but in deep, cool, permanent water, they might grow to twice that length. In warm shallow water with plenty of food, the period of development may take about 9 months to a year, but in cold, deep water with little food, it might take two years.

In size, shape, and their brown coloration, the tadpoles are typical of large, vigorous species of frogs; they are strong swimmers with large tails about two to three times as long as the body, and with the tip tapering to a point. The body is oval.[2]

Status[edit]

The Cape river frog, though locally threatened by habitat loss, for example because of dam building, is currently regarded as "least concern" because it occurs plentifully over wide areas, including in local isolated populations, and is not a specialist feeder. It also survives in altered habitats such as suitable pastureland and agricultural land[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (2014). "Amietia fuscigula". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Du Preez, L. H., Carruthers, Vincent; A complete guide to the frogs of southern Africa. Pub: Cape Town, South Africa : Struik Nature, 2009 ISBN 978-1-77007-446-0
  3. ^ Rose, Walter; The reptiles and amphibians of southern Africa; Pub: Maskew Miller, 1950
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Drakensberg stream frog

The Drakensberg Stream Frog (Strongylopus hymenopus) is a species of frog in the Ranidae family. It is found in Lesotho and South Africa. Its natural habitats are temperate grassland, rivers, swamps, freshwater marshes, and intermittent freshwater marshes.

References[edit source | edit]

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!