Happy FROG FRIDAY! The species in the spotlight today is the Bainskloof Moss Frog (Arthroleptella bicolor). The Bainskloof Moss Frog is endemic to the Riviersonderend, Du Toitsberg, Elandskloof and Limietberg mountains in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It has been recorded at altitudes of 300–2000 m. This frog is associated with moss and matted vegetation found in seepages and along heavily vegetated streams, often on steep slopes. It is known from montane fynbos where the winter rainfall exceeds 750 mm (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

The Bainskloof Moss Frog reaches a maximum size of 22 mm. It has a squat body with short limbs and a rounded head. This moss frog usually varies in colour from orange-brown to black with darker blotches and paler spots on the back and legs. Breeding commences during the winter rains, and continues until the seeps dry up in midsummer. Clutches of 8–10 eggs are laid in moss or similar vegetation in seepages (Channing 2001). Males may guard the eggs as they call from oviposition sites. The eggs develop directly into 4-mm froglets.

Help us to map this beautiful little frog’s 21st century distribution by submitting your photos, along with the location details, to FrogMAP.  To contribute to any of the virtual museum projects you first need to register as an ADU (Animal Demography Unit) observer . Happy frogging!!

~ Megan Loftie-Eaton

Frog Fridays celebrate the amazing diversity of frogs and toads in the southern African region. Click here to learn more about the Animal Demography Unit.

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