All about common rain frog (Breviceps adspersus)

Common rain frog ( Breviceps adspersus )

Amphibians are unusual animals, and their characteristics are unlike other animals. The common rain frog is also one of these fantastic animals. They are unique because they are the only type of frog that cannot jump and swim. Most of the year, they stay in their nests waiting for rain and do not come out. And when the first rain falls, they come out of their nests and start working; that’s why they are called rain frogs.

They have a round and cute appearance with a small size that is unlike other frogs that do not have the ability to jump. The female size of this frog is much larger than the male type, and you can only see them when it rains because they stay in their nests when it is dry.

The interesting thing about them is that unlike other amphibians, frogs cannot swim and will drown in water. But they are good diggers and can dig the sandy ground at high speed and hide under the sand.

They are egg-layers, and babies are born from their eggs. Like other frogs, they do not have a larval stage and are completely like their parents, and at the very beginning, they can live independently and even dig the ground and do not rely on their parents for food.

Do you know what they look like, where they live or eat, what is unique about them, and what other features they have? Stay with All Amphibian to find out.


What do common rain frogs look like?

Common rain frogs have stout and round bodies with flat heads; sometimes, their head and body cannot be seen separately, and it is like completely round ball.

What do common rain frogs look like

Its length reaches 10 cm. Their color is light and dark brown with yellow stripes and orange circles covering the whole back. Of course, the color of the common rain frog looks darker in the photos, which usually looks like this because of the stickiness of its skin and the sticking of grains of sand.

Common rain frogs can’t jump like other frogs, but these stout legs have a shovel-like shape and are such that a common rain frog can easily dig the ground with his legs and sink himself into the sand.

A spherical body, short hands and legs, and the absence of webs between their fingers have made this animal unable to swim in the water and will drown if it falls into the water.


Where do common rain frogs live?

The common rain frog lives on the coast of South Africa. You can find them on the coastline stretched in Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and southern Mozambique.

Their habitat is on beaches and sand dunes with little vegetation, grasses, and plants. They cannot live in hard soil and areas with a lot of vegetation.

The common frog needs soft sandy ground to live in so it can easily dig. In the cold and dry seasons, they don’t come out .and stay under the roots of the maple trees and in their sand nests in a group of 20 and rarely come out.

In the rainy season, they come out of their nests, reproduce, and hunt. The land they dig and nest in must have sand. Be moist because the common rainy frog reaches the wet part by digging into the ground and getting water from the sand.

where do common rain frogs live

How long do common rain frogs live?

The lifespan of these frogs depends on various factors. Their mating time is late summer to early autumn; during this time, the males sing a special song that attracts females.

Interestingly, they usually sing together and in groups of 7. Up to 10 sing together like a choir, so the sound of their singing reaches the female better, and she is more impressed.

During mating, the female digs a hole about 30 centimeters with her feet, lays her eggs in that hole, and stays around until the babies are born. In the best conditions, 30% of the babies born reach one year old, and if factors such as predators like jackals or birds of prey and other threats do not endanger the life of the common rain frog, they normally live up to 15 years.



The common rain frog lives in the sandy ground to a depth of 50 to 60 cm. Their nest is usually in the shape of a V and has two entrances; the distance between each of the entrances is 25 cm from each other.

In savannah cost, their population is more than anywhere else, and there is a nest almost every 30 cm of sandy ground. They rarely come out of the nest and eat until the rainy season begins. That is why they are called rain frogs.

Males are very sensitive to rain, and  They come out of the nest immediately after the first rain. They tolerate each other in the cold winter, and when they are hibernating, sometimes up to 20 males have been seen together in one nest, but during the mating season. They become aggressive, and if two males are in the same nest, one has to leave, and they do not tolerate each other.



During the mating season, the males call the females with their whistle-like song, and the female, larger than the male, must choose, and when both of them are ready to mate, they come together.

But they face a big problem. Because of the large size of the female, It is almost impossible for them to mate. But they solve this problem by secreting a sticky substance. Both of them secrete a sticky substance from their body.

They make the female sticky; this way, the male sticks to the female’s back and does not separate from her during mating. At this time, the female digs a 30 cm long hole with her hind legs or uses the same nest that the male was in, and it just makes it a little wider, and when it reaches a sufficient depth, it releases its eggs at the bottom of the nest.

They lay about 40 eggs each time, which the male fertilizes. The eggs come out with jelly-like sacs, which are water sacs. They provide what is necessary for the eggs, and all the eggs float in a jelly mass, and after a month, the babies are born.

It is interesting that babies are adults at the very beginning of their birth and do not have a larval stage like other amphibians, and they are just like their parents and all their body parts are complete and they start their lives independently.

For unknown reasons, females stay around until newborns are born but do not take care of them. Another point is that, unlike other amphibians, they do not lay their eggs in water and mate and lay eggs on land.

common rain frog mating


Defending mechanism

The common rain frog has small in size and is also very slow in moving due to its body shape and short arms and legs, it cannot swim and jump, and it is easy prey for predators.

But they have ways to defend themselves. When they feel danger, they secrete a sticky and jelly-like substance that covers the surface of their body. They do this for two purposes.

By doing this, eating them becomes undesirable for other hunters because of the slimy and sticky state and the smell of that sticky substance, and on the other hand, they keep their bodies wet and prevent their skin from drying out.

Another way they defend themselves is by inflating their bodies. When they are in danger, they swallow air and inflate their bodies to make themselves appear larger and to save them.

The common rain frog when escaping from foxes runs inside their nests and inflates itself inside the nest; they make the fox unable to take them out of the nest because their size becomes bigger than the tunnel inside the ground, and the foxes cannot take them out.

The lifestyle of the common rain frog is considered a defense system because they spend most of their time hidden in their nests and only come out during the rainy season.

Also, to defend themselves, they can make their body color a little lighter or darker so that they are the same color as their surroundings and cannot be recognized by predators.



What does a common rain frog eat?

Common rain frogs are carnivores like other frogs and hunt any creature they can eat, but due to the limitations of the common rain frog, most of its food is termites.

They also eat beetles, ants, and insects that  They can hunt and feed. At the beginning of the spring season and after the first rain, the termites, which have not come out of their nests for a while, come out at once due to the rain and water entering their nests.

At the same time, the common rain frogs, which haven’t been out of the nest for a long time and are completely hungry, seize the opportunity and come out of the nest and start hunting termites.

Normally, they lie in wait at the door of the termite nest and hunt them with their sticky tongue when they enter and leave, and 90% of the food of common rain frogs is made up of these termites.

common rain frogs

Are common rain frogs good pets?

Common rain frogs can be kept at home like other frogs. They are good pets. They can entertain people with their funny appearance.

But we must know that their maintenance requires special conditions. To keep them, you must make a place that is up to one meter deep in soft sand. And also you have to keep the sand moist so they can build nests.

They are instinctively sensitive to rain and are always waiting for it to rain, and in the absence of rain, they are withdrawn and isolated animals. In general, They can be kept as pets, but this is not recommended.



What we learned about Common rain frog ( Breviceps adspersus )

Common rain frogs or breviceps adspersus are a special kind of amphibian. Their habitat is in southern Africa and they only live in sandy and moist lands.

Their females are much larger than males and live in their nests in the sand during the cold and dry seasons.

They come out of their nests with the first rain; that’s why they are called rain frogs. They have fat bodies and short arms and legs, and they can’t swim or jump like other frogs. Also, most of their food is termites.



What is the common rain frog?

The common rain frog is a type of frog that comes out of the nest only during the rainy season; that’s why it is called the rain frog.

What does the common rain frog look like?

They have round bodies and short arms and legs, so they cannot jump or swim.

Where do common rain frogs live?

They live on the southern coast of Africa and in places where the land is sandy and wet and does not have dense vegetation.

How long do common rain frogs live?

Only 30% of them reach the age of one year, but in favorable conditions, they can live up to 15 years.

Do they have natural enemies?

Yes, foxes, jackals, and hunting birds are among the predators that hunt the common rain frog.

What does the common rain frog eat?

Like other frogs, common rain frog are carnivores and feed on insects and termites.

Are common rain frogs good pets?

Yes, we can keep them at home like other frogs, but there are special conditions, and it is not recommended.

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