First Field Guide to Frogs of Southern Africa

These little guides are an invaluable resource for beginners
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First Field Guide to Frogs of Southern Africa

Author: Vincent Carruthers
Struik Publishers
Cape Town, 2001
ISBN: 9781868725953
Paperback, 11x17 cm, 56 pages, throughout colour photos


Sasol First Field Guide to Frogs of Southern Africa is a fascinating guide to the frogs of the region.

Full-colour photographs, distribution maps and easy-to-read text will help the beginner and budding naturalist to identify the more common frog species found in southern Africa, discover where they live, and learn about their unique behaviour and unusual features.

These little guides are an invaluable resource for the beginner, providing information at a glance through superb photographs, maps and easy-to-read text.

• handy pocket size
• easy-to-read text
• suitable for the beginner naturalist
• each species is photographed

About the Author:

Vincent Carruthers is a well-known environmentalist and author. In 1998 he was awarded the prestigious Stevenson-Hamilton Medal by the Zoological Society of southern Africa for his contribution as an amateur zoologist.

He co-authored South African Frogs - A complete Guide and was compiling editor of the highly successful The Wildlife of Southern Africa.

He is a Director of the North West Parks and Tourism Board, Delta Environmental Centre and the Sustainable Tourism Research Institute.

He is a past Executive Director of the Wildlife and Environment Society and Chairman of BirdLife South Africa.


Ghost Frogs
Heleophryne sp.
Size: 40-60 mm

This group includes: Cape Ghost Frog, Heleophryne purcelli; Hewitts Ghost Frog, Heleophryne hewitti; Natal Ghost Frog, Heleophryne natalensis; Southern Ghost Frog, Heleophryne regis; Table Mountain Ghost Frog, Heleophryne rosei

Description: Slightly flattened head and body. Slippery-skinned with bulging eyes and long limbs. Greenish-brown with deep reddish mottling or patches. Natal Ghost Frog has yellow markings on a dark brown background. Belly granular white. Toes with T-shaped adhesive pads and extensive webbing. Pupils vertical.

Where found: Fast-flowing mountain streams, in forests.

Call: Clear, high-pitched ringing or whistling notes, audible above the rushing stream.

Reproduction: Eggs are laid in protected places next to mountain streams. Tadpoles are adapted to the fast-flowing water and cling to rocks with their teeth while eating the algae. Tadpoles live for two seasons and grow to 90 mm before they metamorphose.

Notes: The highly specialised tadpoles are able to climb vertical waterfalls using their teeth to grip onto the slippery rocks. Different species inhabit different isolated regions.


Looking and listening
How to use this book
Species accounts


African 45
Giant 44
Bronze 52
Common 51
Chirping Frog
Bainskloof 50
Cape 50
Drewess 50
Mist Belt 50
Natal 50
Villierss 50
Foam Nest Frog 55
Ghost Frog
Cape 18
Hewitts 18
Natal 18
Southern 18
Table Mountain 18
Grass Frog
Broad-banded 43
Plain 41
Sharp-nosed 42
Hogsback Frog 49
Kassina, Bubbling 22
Kloof Frog 53
Leaf-folding Frog
Delicate 20
Golden 20
Greater 21
Knysna 20
Natal 20
Snoring 20
Leopard Toad
Eastern 14
Western 14
Mountain Toad
Roses 16
Tradouw 16
Olive Toad
Eastern 12
Western 12
Ornate Frog 40
Cape 37
Common 37
Tropical 37
Puddle Frog,
Snoring 54
Pygmy Toad
Beira 10
Northern 10
Southern 10
Rain Frog
Bushveld 33
Cape 34
Desert 35
Forest, Transvaal 32
Mozambique 33
Plain 32
Plaintive 32
Spotted 32
Strawberry 32
Rattling Frog 23
Reed Frog
Argus 29
Arum Lily 24
Painted 25
Tinker 28
Waterlily 26
Yellow-striped 27
River Frog
Cape 39
Common 38
Rubber Frog
Banded 36
Sand Frog
Beaded 48
Cape 48
Knocking 48
Natal 48
Russet-backed 48
Tandys 48
Tremolo 48
Shovel-nosed Frog
Mottled 19
Spotted 19
Squeaker, Bush 8
Stream Frog
Banded 46
Clicking 47
Striped 46
Guttural 13
Karoo 11
Leopard 14
Raucous 15
Red 17
Sand 9
Tree Frog
Brown-backed 30
Forest 31


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