Life Histories of Frogs in the Namib Desert

  • A Channing


Four anuran taxa inhabit the central Namib: Xenopus laevis, Tomopterna delalandei cryptotis, Phrynomerus annectens and Bufo vertebrate hoeschi. Xenopus is confined to permanent pools in the Kuiseb river canyon. Tomopterna extends further into the Namib, but is restricted to the Kuiseb river bed. The Kuiseb is normally dry, receiving water only briefly (as floods) during the rainy season. These floods are responsible for moving adults and larvae. Phrynomerus and Bufo occur on granite inselbergs. The inselbergs provide shelter mainly in the form of cracks under granite exfoliations. Large runoff surfaces collect the low rainfall (25 mm per year) in depressions in which the frogs breed. Phrynomerus is only active at night; males are aggressive towards one another; oviposition takes place in deep pools and development takes at least eight weeks. Bufo is active during the heat of the day; oviposition takes place in warm shallow pools; development takes about three weeks


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eISSN: 2224-073X
print ISSN: 1562-7020