Sclerophrys pantherina
Western Leopard Toad
family: Bufonidae

© 2006 Serban Proches (1 of 8)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Endangered (EN)
Other International Status Endangered
National Status Endangered
Regional Status None



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Bufo pantherinus is a large toad, with a SVL of 122 mm in the females. This species has a number of indistinct glands running along the underside of the forearm, along with glands behind the jaw that are smaller and not joined into a ridge. Parotoid glands are large and distinct and have a lateral edge running straight across. Dorsal coloration is described as red-brown markings outlined in black atop a vibrant yellow background. The snout top and belly coloration are free of dark markings, and a pale thin vertebral line runs along the dorsum.

Tadpoles possess fins with distinctively curved margins on their upper and lower sides. Eye to eye length of these tadpoles is noted to be larger than eye to nostril length. Pigmentation covers the posterior region of the tadpole's tail muscles completely, while only covering about 2/3 of the upper tail muscle. No papillae exist on either side of the mouth within the oral disc of the tadpoles.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: South Africa


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Bufo pantherinus is indigenous to the southwestern tip of Africa. The frog is known to inhabit bodies of water ranging from large wetlands, vleis, dams, and sluggish water shallow to temporary ponds filled with seasonal rains. Breeding in usually takes place within the smaller temporary ponds to avoid predation. Unfortunately much of this habitat has been destroyed due to local housing developments.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Bufo pantherinus has a distinct call that is described as a slow snore, given while the frog is under vegetation at the edge of the water, or while submerged completely in deep water. This species is an explosive breeder. All breeding activity takes place within a 4-5 night time period every spring. During this time period, males search out mates. Surprisingly, given the competition to find mates in such a short mating period, they do not attempt to displace other males that have engaged females in amplexus. Eggs of this frog are laid within shallow marshy areas, in batches consisting of around 25,000 eggs. The egg laying occurs from late August through October depending on when the rains appear. Metamorphosis takes place in mid-December.

One unusual food item that the frog is said to consume are snails.

Trends and Threats

Large portions of this frog's original habitat have been lost due to the construction of houses.


Channing, A. (2001). Amphibians of Central and Southern Africa. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.

Written by Adam Boisvert (soccerdawg27 AT, UC Berkeley URAP
First submitted 2007-11-27
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2008-03-01)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Sclerophrys pantherina: Western Leopard Toad <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 12, 2020.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 12 Jul 2020.

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