TGIFF!!! Thank Goodness it’s FROG FRIDAY! The species in the spotlight today is the Cape sand toad (Vandijkophrynus angusticeps). This is a medium sized toad and has the typical square, thick-set body which characterizes this genus. This species has a relatively soft call, and calling males can be difficult to locate as the calls are widely spaced and the frogs become silent when approached.

The Cape sand toad is endemic to the Fynbos Biome and mainly occurs in the winter rainfall region of the Western Cape Province of South Africa, but its habitat also extends eastwards into a winter/summer rainfall transition zone. The Cape Sand Toad is mainly associated with sandy, coastal lowlands but also occurs in some rocky montane areas further inland. It breeds in shallow temporary pools in seasonally flooded land, and this may also include modified habitat such as cultivated lands.

Breeding takes place once sufficient rain has fallen for temporary pools to form. This generally happens in the winter period from May to September. During rainy periods in suitable habitat, many of these toads may be seen at night moving across roads to breeding sites (especially early in the breeding season). The eggs, which are 1-2 mm in diameter, are laid in long gelatinous strings of 5-7 mm in width. The eggs develop into free-swimming benthic tadpoles which are relatively small and dark. The tadpoles take about a month or less to metamorphose into tiny toadlets.

Please help us to map this cool toad’s 21st century distribution by submitting your photos, along with the location details, to FrogMAP (formerly known as SAFAP) at http://vmus.adu.org.za/

~ 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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