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Rain Frogs (Breviceps)

Rain frogs, or short-headed frogs, are small adorable frogs that are almost spherical in shape. There are 20 species of frogs within this genus, which can range in appearance and living conditions. So what can we learn about these tiny amphibians?

Physical Description and Behavior

These frogs are fairly small, being between 30-50mm (1-2 inches). They are also very round, with a head that is hardly distinguished from its body. This becomes more pronounced due to their tendency to puff up when in distress. They can be found in a variety of colors from a light gray to a dark color close to black. They can also be seen in a variety of tans, creams, rusts, and browns.

Fun Fact: Male frogs usually grasp female frogs with their front legs in a mating strategy known as amplexus. However, because male rain frogs are significantly shorter than females, this cannot take place. Instead, both frogs secrete a type of adhesive, which allows the males to stick to the female during sex.

After sex, they lay their eggs in burrows. The female can lay 30-50 eggs at a time, which is then looked after mainly by the female. However, it is not uncommon to see the male, or both the male and female guarding the eggs until they hatch.

They spend most of their time underground but are also protected on the surface due to their slow movement and camouflage coloration. After the rainy season, these frogs leave their abode to feed and copulate. During this time, they consume ants, beetles, termites, centipedes, woodlice, and other bugs.

Habitat and Location

Rain Frogs live in arid and semiarid regions, almost exclusively in South Africa.

While most species of these frogs are considered to be of Least Concern, according to the IUCN Red List, at least 4 species are considered to be Near Threatened.

If you want to learn more about this genus, check out the video below:

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