The Cape has more than half of South Africa’s frog species. Of the 62 different frogs occurring here, 29 are endemic being found nowhere else on earth. Below are just some of the frogs occurring in fynbos.
Frogs are found in a wide variety of habitats – from low-lying coastal areas, mountain tops, forests, desserts, to gardens – and each type is perfectly adapted to its environment. Aquatic frogs (eg. platannas) have webbed feet for rapid swimming. Frogs that climb up reeds and shrubs (eg. reed frogs) or rock-faces (eg. ghost frogs) have suckers at the tips of their fingers and toes for adhesion, while burrowing frogs (eg. rain frogs) have spade-like protuberances on their feet. Colour and body markings vary considerably and conceal them from predators.
Frogs consume vast quantities of insects and contribute considerably to pest control.
Meet two frogs found in the Overstrand
The Arum lily frog, Hyperolius horstockii.
This attractive frog inhabits wetlands in the southern coastal lowlands extending from Cape Town to the Tsitsikamma region. These frogs are sometimes found in arum lily flowers where they can change colour to perfectly match the surroundings. This makes them virtually invisible to predators as well as to their insect prey. Adult length: 40 mm.
The Micro frog, Microbatrachella capensis.
This tiny frog is one of the smallest and most endangered amphibians in South Africa. It only occurs in certain areas between Betty’s Bay and Cape Agulhas and on the Cape Flats, where it survives in acidic blackwater fynbos vleis. The filling in, drainage or pollution of vleis, and alien vegetation encroachment, are major threats facing this frog species. Adult length: 15 mm.
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