Frogs are a fascinating group of animals. They are an incredible example of evolution at work, and have adapted to a wide range of environments.
The common Rain Frog (Breviceps adspersus) is a small, arid-adapted species that inhabits South Africa and Namibia. This frog is unique in that it does not rely on jumping to get around and instead uses burrowing as its primary means of transportation.
In addition, the common Rain Frog has a number of interesting features that make it distinct from other members of the genus Breviceps. Its specialized feet feature flat, spade-shaped nodules that allow it to scoop away soil while digging. Its skin is also thicker than other frog species, which gives it a more rugged appearance.
Dive into Diversity: The Enchanting World of the Common Rain Frog
In the wild, this frog can be found in a variety of habitats in Southern Africa, including savannas and open grasslands. However, it prefers areas that have loose soil that are easy to dig into. It is also known to occupy mountain plateaus and rocky slopes.
When threatened, the common Rain Frog will inflate its body like a balloon, increasing in size to several times its original size. This defensive tactic earned it the Afrikaans name, blaasop, which means “puff up.” The extra girth can also help the frog lodge itself in its burrow, making it difficult for predators to pull it out.
The conservation status of the common Rain Frog is Near Threatened. Although endemic to just two countries, this frog is under threat from a number of factors. The most significant threat comes from habitat destruction and fragmentation in its range. This has occurred in part due to the use of pesticides and herbicides on agricultural land. Other threats include strip mining, housing development, and contamination of water sources with copper and diamonds.