Bilbo’s Rain Frog
Species Description: Minter, L.R. 2003. Two New Species of Breviceps (Anura:Microhylidae) from southern Africa. African J. of Herp. 52(1):9-21.
Breviceps bagginsi is sympatric with B. verrucosus and possibly sympatric with B. mossambicus, B. adspersus, and B. sopranus, but can be differentiated from them by its call (see Life History Section). Breviceps bagginsi can be further differentiated from B. verrucosus by the former being smaller, having a less densely granular dorsum, and a having a smooth venturm. Breviceps adspersus is smaller than B. bagginsi and has a much shorter fourth finger. Breviceps bagginsi can be differentiated from B. mossambicus and B. sopranus by the two latter having approximately equal lengths third and fourth finger (Minter 2003).
In general, the dorsum of the body and limbs are medium to dark brown in color dotted with darker speckles. The dorsum is further marked with a lighter bar between the eyes, paravebral patches, and three dorsolateral patches. In life, the dorsum appears dark chocolate-brown with the patches being a lighter brown color. Breviceps bagginsi has broad strips on the head and neck region - black lines that run along the lower eye down to the base of the arm and a white stripe that runs from the middle of the lower eyelid to the corner of the mouth and long the lips. At the posterior gular patch the lip line becomes indistinct and mottled. The anterior gular patch is black. The sides of the body between fore and hind limbs are brown with white speckles. The pectoral and ventrum are a pure white (Minter 2003).
Dorsal color and markings are highly variable including variation in the distinctness of the interocular bar, a light line from heel to heel, variation in distinctness of paravertebral patches, variation in degree of fusion of dorsolateral patches, continuousness of the black bar that extends from the eye to the arm, and speckles present on the abdomen (Minter 2003).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: South Africa
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Breeding takes place in spring and early summer. Males call from the surface or from shallow depressions concealed beneath vegetation. The call consists of two bouts of seven to nine short, pulsed notes lasting approximately 3.8 seconds in total at a frequency of 2540 – 3042 Hz. In wet weather, calling continues throughout the day and males will continue to call from well-concealed sites in full sunlight at ambient temperatures as high as 28°C. Amplexus and oviposition have not been observed (Minter 2003). It is believed that this species is a direct developer in subterranean nests (SA-FRoG 2010)
During the emergence of termite alates, individuals leave their hiding places to feed in the open (Minter 2003).
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Minter, L. R. (2003). Two new cryptic species of Breviceps (Anura: Microhylidae) from southern Africa. African Journal of Herpetology . 52, 9-21.
South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG), IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, 2010. Breviceps bagginsi. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. Downloaded on 15 May 2013.
Written by William Yoon Ho Byun and Ann T. Chang (wbyuncal AT gmail.com), University of California Berkeley
First submitted 2013-06-21
Edited by Ann T. Chang (2013-06-28)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2013 Breviceps bagginsi: Bilbo’s Rain Frog <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/6246> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 20, 2019.
Feedback or comments about this page.
Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2019. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 20 May 2019.
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.