AmphibiaWeb - Sclerophrys taiensis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Sclerophrys taiensis (Rödel & Ernst, 2000)
family: Bufonidae
genus: Sclerophrys
Sclerophrys taiensis
© 2000 M.O. Roedel (1 of 3)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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Small, stocky toad with very prominent parotids. Especially the warts on the back and neck and in the occiputal region with a horny sharp keratination. Warts not obviously grouped. Venter black with white spots.In life, the back is grey-brown. Three pairs of black spots are located behind the eyes, before the parotoid glands, and on the middle of the back. This pattern is usually not very distinct. Fore- and hindlimbs are with black bands. Thigh and shin bear three crossbands each. Some warts and the parotoids are somewhat brighter than the base color of the back. Venter and chest are black with light grey dots. The troat shows some larger light grey spots. The undersides of the extremities are bright grey with a black meander pattern. In alcohol the colors remain as in life or even with more contrast.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cote d'Ivoire

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Terra typica: Ivory coast, Tai national park, 5°15’-6°07’N, 7°25’-7°54’W, about 23 kilometers east of the town of Tai. The Tai national park is with 3,300 square kilometers the biggest protected rain forest area in west africa. The average anual rainfall varies between 2,200 mm in the southwest to 1,700 mm in the northeast of the park. Most of the precipitation falls between April/May to June/July and from September to Oktober/November. Daytime temperatures vary between 20-33 °C. The average temperature during the year is 25 °C. The relative humidity of the air is 85% in the daytime up to 90-100% at night. At some places in the forest the humidity can drop as low as 60% outside the rain season. The climate of the area is equatorial and under influence of a southern Passat. The national park belongs to the Guinea-Congo floristic region. The toad was found on September 19th on midday, in a swampy section of the forest at the foot of a log. Undergrowth was only moderately developed at his location and the canopy open. A creek that carries water year-round was found near the swamp.
Very little is know about the biology of this species. That we have only found one specimen of this species among the over 10.000 amphibians we examined hitherto in Tai national park indicates that the species is very rare or timid or that it lives in areas that we have not examined yet.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The life history of this species is probably similar to that of B. tuberosus . This species was considered rare and hard to find (Perret 1966). In most publications only its identification and the fact that it occurs in rain forests is mentioned(Mertens 1941 Perret 1966 Boehme 1975). According to Perret(1966) and Tandy & Keith (1972) it occurs in primary rainforests. Noble (1924) reports that the swamp inhabiting species was „Found by pygmies in the forest“. Dissected specimens had eaten mostly termites and ants. The only available specification of its biology was published by Amiet (1976). He found the toads mostly in secondary forests along more or less fast flowing water. He emphasized that dry primary forest areas were avoided. Calling males were found along the stream onder roots or fallen leaves, mostly near the entrance of burrows. He described the very often repeated 0.2 second low frequency, soft call with „rrrou“ or „rroua“. Most chorusus contained less than a thousand males. Additional to the mating call, Amiet (1976) described a loud call, interpreted as terretorial. Whether B. taiensis has sexual dimorphism like B. tuberosus (SVL: males 35-41 mm females 58-70 mm PERRET 1966) is unknown. Because we did not want to damage our only specimen by sectioning, the sex of the holotype remains unknown.


Amiet, J.-L. (1973). ''Voix d'Amphibiens camerounais II. Arthroleptinae: genre Cardioglossa.'' Annales de la Faculté des Sciences du Cameroun, 14, 149-164.

Böhme, W. (1975). ''Zur Herpetofaunistik Kameruns, mit Beschreibung eines neuen Scinciden.'' Bonner Zoologische Beitrage, 26, 1-48.

Mertens, R. (1941). ''Zur Kenntnis der Herpetofauna von Fernando-Poo.'' Zoologischer Anzeiger, 135, 275-281.

Noble, G.K. (1924). ''Article II. Contributions to the herpetology of the Belgian Congo based on the collection of the American Museum Congo Expedition, 1909-1915, Part III. Amphibia.'' Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 49, 147-347.

Perret, J.-L. (1966). ''Les amphibiens du Cameroun.'' Zoologische Jahrbücher für Systematik, 8, 289-464.

Tandy, M. and Keith, R. (1972). ''Bufo of Africa.'' Evolution in the Genus Bufo. W.F. Blair, eds., University of Texas Press, Austin and London, 119-170.

Originally submitted by: Mark-Oliver Rödel & Raffael Ernst (first posted 2002-10-02)
Edited by: Arie van der Meijden (2002-10-02)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2002 Sclerophrys taiensis <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 13, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Jun 2024.

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