TGIFF – Thank Goodness it’s FROG FRIDAY! This beautiful little frog is a Bronze Caco (Cacosternum nanum) also known as a Bronze Dainty Frog. This species ranges from Swellendam in the Western Cape Province in South Africa, east and north to the Tugela River basin in KwaZulu-Natal, and the lowlands of southern Swaziland. It is absent from higher altitudes along the Mpumalanga and Kwa-Zulu Natal escarpment, where it is replaced by its sister-taxon, Cacosternum parvum. It occurs up to at least 1,400 m asl, perhaps higher. Records from Mozambique require clarification (E. Scott pers. comm.)

The Bronze Caco inhabits a wide variety of vegetation types, including fynbos heath land, savannah, shrubland, grassland, farmland, plantations, rural grassland, degraded forest and urban areas, occurring in areas of relatively high rainfall. It breeds in vleis (wetlands) and deeper pools in open wooded grassland areas, in thick reed beds, and in dense grassy verges of ponds. Its habitat preferences are generally more restrictive than those of Cacosternum boettgeri. During dry periods, these frogs aestivate below the surface, or under logs and stones, sometimes emerging in large numbers after heavy rain.

Reference: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2013. Cacosternum nanum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. .

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.