You’d be surprised to know that there are over 6,300 recorded species of frogs, one different from the other. We’re all familiar with typical frogs that fill up the ponds during monsoons and the air with their typical ‘trr-trr’ sounds.
However, one species called the Black Rain Frog is way different. It’s because it looks so grumpy, and seems to wear a frown all the time. Its grouchy appearance may convey disappointment or sadness, but that’s how it actually looks. Color-wise, it’s typically dark brown or almost black without any pigmented patterns on the back.
Black Rain Frog species is found in the southern slopes of the Cape Fold Belt in South Africa at an altitude of over 3,300 feet (1,000 meters). It’s a burrowing species that doesn’t need open waters, instead, it inhabits forest fringes, living underground. It burrows tunnels that can descend up to 150 millimeters. And its sound is also not like that of the common frog, but that of a squeaky toy!
Black Rain Frog may look toy-like and defenseless, but it’s not. It has developed a special defense mechanism to counter any attack. When threatened, it puffs itself up with air to increase its body size. This rotund shape helps it to remain stuck inside its burrow, making it difficult for the predator to pull it out.
This frog breeds during the months from October to February. Come mating season, the female frog secretes a special sticky substance from its back, which helps it to glue the piggy-backing male so it doesn’t slide off during the act of mating!
The female lays around 42 to 43 eggs that are yellow in color and five millimeters in diameter. The eggs are laid in spherical nests in burrows. It’s the male that takes up the responsibility of guarding the eggs in the nest and continues doing so till froglets hatch. From time to time, it sends out little squeaks as part of its call.
It isn’t surprising that this grouchy looking Black Rain Frog with a squeaky toy-like sound has caught the fancy of web browsers.