Vandijkophrynus amatolicus

Vandijkophrynus amatolicus (Hewitt, 1925)

Common Names

Amatola Toad (English)

Languages: English

Overview

Distribution

V. amatolicus is restricted to a range in the Winterberg and Amatola mountains found in the Eastern Cape provice or South Africa (Boycott 1988d; Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Author(s): Boycott, R.C.
Rights holder(s): Boycott, R.C.

Etymology

This species is named for the Amatola Mountains in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa where it was first discovered.

Author(s): Zimkus, Breda
Rights holder(s): Zimkus, Breda

Description

Size

V. amatolicus is a small toad, with females reaching a maximum snout–vent length of 37 mm (Boycott 1988d; Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Author(s): Boycott, R.C.
Rights holder(s): Boycott, R.C.

Morphology

The dorsum is usually uniform dark grey or olive-brown with a distinct, pale, vertebral stripe. Well developed parotoid glands and numerous small, flattened warts are present on the dorsal surface (Boycott 1988d; Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Author(s): Boycott, R.C.
Rights holder(s): Boycott, R.C.

Comparisons

Originally described as a subspecies of V. angusticeps, V. amatolicus is smaller and is lacking a fringe of webbing around the fingers and toes (Carruthers 1995; Channing 2001; Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Author(s): Boycott, R.C.
Rights holder(s): Boycott, R.C.

Ecology

Habitat and Ecology

This species is found mostly in moist grasslands at high-altitudes between 1400 and 1800m; it is absent from forests and plantation area adjacent to these habitats. It can be found under rocks and logs, and in forest clearings (Boycott 1988d; Minter et al., 2004).

Author(s): Boycott, R.C.
Rights holder(s): Boycott, R.C.

Life History

Reproduction

Breeding takes place in shallow pools, and seeps on mountain slopes; between October to December. Eggs are deposited in shallow water as single strings. Several hundred eggs are contained in a single clutch; the eggs are hidden well as they are blended in with the vegetation or muddy substrates (Channing 2001; Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Author(s): Boycott, R.C.
Rights holder(s): Boycott, R.C.

Advertisement Call

After heavy rains, the males congregate in large numbers at breeding sites, where they call from concealed positions under grass. The advertisement call is a brief nasal squawk, with long intervals between calls (Passmore and Carruthers 1995; Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Author(s): Boycott, R.C.
Rights holder(s): Boycott, R.C.

Tadpole morphology

The tadpoles are brown in colour and benthic in habit (Boycott 1988d; Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Author(s): Boycott, R.C.
Rights holder(s): Boycott, R.C.

Conservation

IUCN Red List Category and Justification of Conservation Status

V. amatolicus is listed as Endangered due to its isolation and fragmented environment (Boycott 1988d; Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Author(s): Boycott, R.C.
Rights holder(s): Boycott, R.C.

Threats

The habitat is threatened due to overgrazing. However, in the last 20 years it is estimated that 20% of its habitat has been lost due to silviculture (Boycott 1988d; Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Author(s): Boycott, R.C.
Rights holder(s): Boycott, R.C.

Taxonomy

  • Bufo angusticeps amatolica Hewitt, 1925 (synonym)
  • Bufo amatolica — Hewitt, 1926 (synonym)
  • Bufo amatolicus — Frost, 1985 (synonym)
  • Vandijkophrynus amatolicus — Frost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006 (synonym)

References

[Anonymous] (2004).  Atlas and Red Data Book of the Frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. (MinterL., BurgerM., HarrisonJ., BraackH H., BishopP J., KloepferD., Ed.).SI/MAB Series. 9, Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
Boycott, R. C. (1998).  South African Red Data Book- Reptiles and Amphibians. (BranchW R., Ed.). 111-112.
Channing, A. (2001).  Amphibians of Central and Southern Africa. Comstock books in herpetology. x, 470 p., [24] p. of plates. Ithaca, N.Y.: Comstock Pub. Associates.
Passmore, N. I., & Carruthers V. C. (1995).  South African Frogs: A Complete Guide. Johannesburg: Southern Book Publishers and University of the Witwatersrand Press.
Wager, V. A. (1986).  Frogs of South Africa. Craighall, South Africa: Delta Books.