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Brief Summary

Comprehensive Description

Distribution

    Distribution and Habitat
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    Breviceps fuscus was originally collected from a settlement (Knysna) on the southern coast of South Africa (Hewett 1925) and is endemic to the Cape Fold Mountains in the southern tip of South Africa. It occurs from sea level to just over 1000 m and is common on the floor of forests and heathlands on mountain slopes and plateaus (Carruthers and Robinson 1977; Branch and Hanekom 1987; Channing 2001; Minter et al. 2004).

Trends

    Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
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    Breviceps fuscus is a locally abundant burrowing frog, found in tunnels up to 150 mm deep or among vegetation up to about 30 cm above the ground; it is not usually in association with bodies of water (Channing 2001; Minter et al 2004).

    The breeding season takes place during summer starting in October and lasting at least through February (Branch and Hanekom 1987; Channing 2001). Males call from within burrows, sometimes while guarding eggs, and above ground in vegetation using “a short chirp, 0.2s long, at a dominant frequency of 1.8kHz” (Channing 2001). Yellow eggs are laid within burrows with 15 mm openings about 30 – 40 mm deep in spherical nests about 30 mm across. Each nest consists of approximately 42 - 43 eggs that are 5 mm in diameter within 8 mm capsules. The nest is covered with a layer of 25 - 30 empty eggs cases on top (Channing 2001). Males continue to guard eggs in the nest while calling, until direct-developing froglets hatch (Channing 2001; Minter et al. 2004).

    This species is eaten by the local bushpig Potamochoerus porcus (Channing 2001), and the colubrid snake Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia (Keogh et al. 2000).

Threats

    Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
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    Potential threats to Breviceps fuscus are loss of habitat due to invasive plants and wildfire, but much of the species' range is protected and its population is currently stable (Minter et al. 2004).