Tomopterna cryptotis
Cryptic sand frog
family: Pyxicephalidae
subfamily: Cacosterninae

© 2004 Theodore Papenfuss (1 of 18)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

From the IUCN Red List Species Account:


Range Description

This widespread species from the savannah zone of sub-Saharan Africa occurs in xeric regions from Senegal, Mauritania (Adrar and presumably the extreme south), southwards to southern Angola, northeastern Namibia, and South Africa. There is probably a disjunction in its range in southern Tanzania, northern Zambia and northern Mozambique due to lack of suitable habitats. There are no records from Kenya and Uganda, and records appear to be lacking from Burkina Faso, Chad, and Central African Republic though it presumably occurs in these countries. It was previously thought to have occurred in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia, however, these records have now been assigned to Tomopterna elegans and Tomopterna kachowskii (Zimkus and Larson 2011). 

It is very hard to identify with certainty without calls, so the distribution map is provisional, and many of the records might refer to Tomopterna tandyi.

Habitat and Ecology

It is a species of sandy soils along drainage lines in dry savanna, grassland and in semi-desert conditions. At higher altitudes it is found in montane grassland. It breeds in temporary pools in dry areas, and in roadside puddles and oases.


It is a very common species in suitable habitats, and the population is believed to be stable.

Population Trend


Major Threats

It is a very resilient species that is not facing any significant threats, except in localized situations.

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It occurs in many protected areas.

Research Needed
Taxonomic research is required for the subpopulations north and west of Zaire to determine their status (Zimkus and Larson 2011).

Red List Status

Least Concern (LC)


Listed as Least Concern in view of its very wide distribution, its tolerance of arid conditions and its presumed large and stable population.

Taxonomic Notes

Tomopterna kachowskii and T. elegans have been removed from synonymy with this species (Zimkus and Larson 2011). This species still requires taxonomic research to understand its full distribution and status, particularly subpopulations in Zaire (Zimkus and Larson 2011).


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Tomopterna cryptotis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T21136111A3073604. .Downloaded on 23 February 2019


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