Ghost Frogs: Heleophrynidae - Behavior And Reproduction
Animal Life ResourceAmphibiansGhost Frogs: Heleophrynidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Natal Ghost Frog (heleophryne Natalensis): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, GHOST FROGS AND PEOPLE
BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTION
During the day, they hide from sight under or between rocks, or in cracks within rocks. Their flattened bodies help them to squeeze into even small openings. At night, they hop out to look for food. Their sticky, wide front and back toe tips help them to climb easily up even the wet and slippery sides of streamside rocks. Predators often do not see these camouflaged frogs, but even when they do, they often leave them alone, because the frog's skin contains a mild poison that many predators learn to avoid.
In the breeding season, the skin on these frogs becomes baggy. They usually breed from spring to mid-summer after the heavy storms of the rainy season. Male ghost frogs group together at waterfalls or at a river or stream with a fast current and begin calling from a hiding place under a rock or in a rock crack or from a spot that is sprinkled with water from a waterfall. Some species call both day and night, but others call mostly at night. Depending on the species, the call may be quite loud or so quiet that it can only be heard from about 10 feet (3 meters) away. Some calls, like those of the Cape ghost frogs and Natal ghost frogs, are repeating ringing sounds. Male and female ghost frogs are excellent swimmers and spend much of the breeding season in the water.
The females lay their 50 to 200 eggs one at a time either in a slow part of the stream or river or in a puddle or other wet area alongside the river or stream. Some species attach their large and gel-covered eggs to the bottom of an underwater rock. After the eggs are deposited, the female and male leave, and the eggs and tadpoles develop on their own. Usually within a week, the eggs hatch into tadpoles, which may stay in the quiet water or move into faster flowing water. They use their suction-cup-shaped mouths to grab onto rocks, while they scrape algae from them with tiny teeth. The tadpoles typically change into froglets when they are 1 to 2 years old.
- Ghost Frogs: Heleophrynidae - Conservation Status
- Ghost Frogs: Heleophrynidae - Physical Characteristics
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