Heleophryne rosei Hewitt, 1925
Rose's Ghost Frog
Males secondarily develop nuptial pads and dorsal skin folds. Both sexes develop asperities (spiny structures allowing for better contact during amplexus).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: South Africa
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Adult behavior has not been well-studied. It is known, however, that adults do stray from streams, traveling across land.
Tadpoles of the species develop slowly over a period of ~12 months in cold water. They are torrent adapted, using their suctorial mouths to gain purchase on the rocky surfaces of the streambed. Tadpoles feed on algae covering these rocks. After metamorphosis, individuals leave the streams before the onset of winter rains.
Trends and Threats
At the beginning of the 20th century, dams were constructed along many waterways on Table Mountain, including those that function as H. rosei habitat. Reduced water flow from these dams may lead to a decline in this torrent-adapted species. It is imperative that policy continue to mandate that the dams permit a continuous flow downstream of a quantity sufficient to preserve H. rosei sites. Global climate change may also threaten the existence of H. rosei as the number of dry years not supporting sufficient perennial streams increases.
Preservation of H. rosei will be aided by continued efforts to maintain swift-flowing perennial streams in the Table Mountain region. It has also been suggested that translocation of individuals may be of great importance as many suitable sites are currently uninhabited by H. rosei.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Baard, E. H. W. (1989). ''The status of some rare and endangered endemic reptiles and amphibians of the southwestern Cape Province, South Africa.'' Biological Conservation, 49, 161-168.
Boycott, R.C. (1988). ''Heleophryne rosei Hewitt: Species account.'' South African Red Data Book – Reptiles and Amphibians. W.R. Branch, eds., South African National Scientific Programmes: Report No. 151, Port Elizabeth, 36-37.
Boycott, R.C. and de Villiers, A.L. (1986). ''The status of Heleophryne rosei Hewitt (Anura:Leptodactylidae) on Table Mountain and recommendations for its conservation.'' South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 16(4), 129-34.
Channing, A., Boycott, R., and van Hensbergen, H.J. (1988). ''Morphological variation of Heleophryne tadpoles from the Cape Province, South Africa (Anura: Heleophrynidae).'' Journal of Zoology, London, 215, 205-216.
Originally submitted by: Christopher Streeter (first posted 2003-01-09)
Edited by: Meredith Mahoney, Michelle S. Koo (2022-11-13)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Heleophryne rosei: Rose's Ghost Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/2056> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 25, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 25 Mar 2023.
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