AmphibiaWeb - Breviceps ombelanonga


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Breviceps ombelanonga Nielsen, Conradie, Ceríaco, Bauer, Heinicke, Stanley & Blackburn, 2020
English: Angolan Rain Frog; Portuguese: Sapinho das Chuvas de Angola
family: Brevicipitidae
genus: Breviceps
Species Description: Nielsen, S.V., W. Conradie, L.M.P. Ceríaco, A.M. Bauer, M.P. Heinicke, E.L. Stanley, and D.C. Blackburn. 2020. A new species of Rain Frog (Brevicipitidae: Breviceps) endemic to Angola. ZooKeys 979: 133–160.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Breviceps ombelanona is a round, globular-bodied frog with a snout-vent length range of 18.3 - 30.5 mm. Its head is relatively narrow, but its eyes are prominent and located above a short, angular snout. The tympanum is indistinguishable. Its mouth is narrow and contains an oblong tongue, but lacks teeth. The dorsal skin is generally smooth. The limbs are short and well-developed. They lack nuptial pads and distinguishable adhesive glands. The palmar surfaces lack of tubercles. The first and fourth digits are reduced. They have a relative finger length of IV < I < II < III with the third finger being particularly short and the finger tips being conical. Webbing is absent from fingers and toes, but tubercles are present. There is also a developed, but non-keratinous, inner metatarsal tubercle that is longer than the third toe and a conical, outer metatarsal tubercle. The two metatarsal tubercles are separated by a deep groove (Nielsen et al. 2020).

Breviceps ombelanona can be differentiated from all other Breviceps in the region by a combination of lacking pale paravertebral and dorsolateral patches, lacking a light patch above vent, and have a single uniformly dark patch on the gular region. The advertisement call of B. ombelanona is diagnostic, with a longer pause between calls and at a higher frequency than B. adspersus, B. mossambicus and B. powersi. Additionally, its call duration is shorter than B. adspersus and B. mossambicus, but longer than B. powersi (Nielsen et al. 2020).

In life, the dorsal surfaces of body are tan, with dark brown spotting. The hind and forelimbs are a dark brown. Lateral surfaces of the body are golden. There is a large stripe that runs from the corner of each eye towards the respective arms. The iris is a bright orange with brown speckles. In preservative, coloration is similar, but generally darker and muted. The irises are dark brown and pupils are a pale gray (Nielsen et al. 2020).

There is variation in coloration and patterns with several observed combinations of dorsal colors and markings on specimens (Nielsen et al. 2020).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Angola


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
At the time of the species description, B. ombelanona was only endemic to Angola, but the three localities at which they were found (Luanda, Bié, and Moxico Provinces) are widely distributed across the country and range in elevation, from near sea level to more than 1,400 m. The habits in which they were observed varied, from grassy savannah in the western localities to wet woodland in the east (Nielsen et al. 2020).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The advertisement call has a frequency of 2156 Hz. The call is a short whistle, lasting from 0.064 - 0.342 s and consisting of 28 - 34 pulses (Nielsen et al. 2020).

One individual was observed eating small ants (Nielsen et al. 2020).

Remains of this species were found in two different snake stomachs (Kladirostratus acutus and Causus bilineatus) (Nielsen et al. 2020).

Trends and Threats
Breviceps omembalonga occurs within Kissama National Park, which legally protects habitats within (Nielsen et al. 2020).


Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian analyses of 12S and 16S ribosomal rRNA genes and Rag1 and BDNF nuclear genes found that B. ombelanonga is sister to B. poweri. Together they are sister to the clade composed of B. aspersus, B. mossambicus and other B. mossambicus species complex members (Nielsen et al. 2020).

The species epithet, “omembalonga” is a combination of two Umbundu words: “ombela” meaning “rain” and “nonga” meaning “frog” (Nielsen et al. 2020).


Nielsen SV, Conradie W, Ceriaco LM, Bauer AM, Heinecke MP, Stanley EL, Blackburn DC. (2020). "A new species of Rain Frog (Brevicipitidae: Breviceps) endemic to Angola." ZooKeys 979: 133–160. [link]

Originally submitted by: Chez Epps (2022-09-23)
Description by: Chez Epps (updated 2022-09-23)
Distribution by: Chez Epps (updated 2022-09-23)
Life history by: Chez Epps (updated 2022-09-23)
Trends and threats by: Chez Epps (updated 2022-09-23)
Comments by: Chez Epps (updated 2022-09-23)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-09-23)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Breviceps ombelanonga: English: Angolan Rain Frog; Portuguese: Sapinho das Chuvas de Angola <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 2, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 2 Mar 2024.

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