This is reported to be the largest frog in the world, with some individuals weighing well over 3 kilograms! In a sample of 15 individuals, weights ranged between 600 and 3250 grams, and snout-vent lengths were between 17 and 32 cm.
The conspicuous tympanum has a diameter of about 0.5 cm and is separated from the eye by about 5 cm in an adult. A lateral fold extends from the eye to the posterior portion of the tympanum. Toes are fully webbed, with large interdigital membranes extending down to the toe tips, and the second toe is the longest. The skin on the dorsum and on top of the limbs is granular. Dorsal coloration is green sienna, while the abdomen and ventral part of the limbs are yellow/orange.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea
C. goliath has a discontinuous distribution. The range extends from the last 200 km of the Sanaga basin in Cameroon in the north to the last 150 kms of the Benito river basin in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in the south. This area runs roughly parallel to the coast, and includes the basin of the Sanaga river south to the basin of the Benito, Wolo, and Mbini rivers. It is defined as a dense equatorial forest fringe, with an average width of 150 to 180 km,
C. goliath is found in rapids and cascades of rivers with a sandy bottom and clean, slightly tannic, oxygen-rich waters. The surrounding vegetation can be described as West African (congolid) rainforest. A particular species of plant, Dicraea warmingii warmingii, always covers the rocks among the cascades and rapids and is the exclusive food source of the tadpoles in the first weeks of larval development.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Egg masses consist of about several hundred eggs and are attached to vegetation at the bottom of rivers. Larval development takes between 85 and 95 days.
Trends and Threats
The species has a limited distribution and a limited ecological range, and is considered threatened. The two major threats are habitat destruction (from conversion into farmland) and predation by humans. The people who inhabit the areas where the Goliath frog lives consider them a delicacy.
Relation to Humans
The Goliath frog is a significant food source for some human populations.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intentional mortality (over-harvesting, pet trade or collecting)
Sabater-Pi, J. (1985). ''Contribution to the biology of the Giant Frog (Conraua goliath, Boulenger).'' Amphibia-Reptilia, 6(2), 143-153.
Written by Franziska Sandmeier (franturtle AT yahoo.com), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2001-02-26
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2009-12-08)
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on
amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2013. Berkeley, California:
(Accessed: Dec 7, 2013).
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