AMPHIBIAWEB
Vandijkophrynus angusticeps
Sand Toad
family: Bufonidae

© 2010 Division of Herpetology, University of Kansas (1 of 1)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
CITES
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: South Africa

 

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

   

From the Encyclopedia of Life account:

Taxonomic Notes

V. angusticeps is part of the Angusticeps Division (sensu Poynton 1996), an extremely closely related and morphologically confusing group of toads endemic to southern Africa that also includes V. gariepensis gariepensis, V. g. nubicolus, V. inyangae, V. robinsoni and V. amatolicus (Cunningham and Cherry 2000). Most of these taxa are geographically variable and at some sites it is difficult to assign individuals to a particular species.

Typical individuals of V. angusticeps are distinguished from other species in the Angusticeps Division by their unspotted white ventrum and bright yellow flush over the dorsal surfaces of their feet. However, these characters may be absent in certain areas, making identification difficult. Clearly more research is needed on morphology, colouration and genetic variation within this group, and this will require extensive and systematic sampling across the entire distribution of the Angusticeps Division, including montane populations and contact zones between taxa (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Cunningham, M.
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Distribution

V. angusticeps is endemic to the Fynbos Biome, within which it is widespread, extending from near Humansdorp in the east, and along the coastal flats and Cape fold mountains to Nieuwoudtville in the west (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Cunningham, M.
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Habitat and Ecology

Within its range, V. angusticeps occurs in two very distinct environments, namely coastal flats and rocky montane areas. Most records come from sandy soils in areas of high winter rainfall in the Fynbos Biome. Montane records of this species are from scattered sites high in the Cape fold mountains, such as around 1500 m in the Swartberg Mountains and near the summit of Matroosberg (Text modified from M. Cunningham in Minter et al. 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Avila, Andres
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Associations

Rose (1962) recorded insects and small snails as food items (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Cunningham, M.
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Reproduction

Breeding occurs in winter, May–September, after heavy rains have saturated the soil and created pools that last for many weeks. On nights after such rains large numbers of V. angusticeps may emerge from their refuges and move to breeding sites. Numerous individuals may be encountered on roads at this time, and may move considerable distances to reach breeding sites. Calling males are often sparsely distributed on exposed sites near the water's edge.

Blair (1972) noted that species in the Angusticeps Division have exceptionally large testes. These characteristics suggest strong competition among males, and that V. angusticeps uses other modes of communication to locate and choose mates (Text modified from M. Cunningham in Minter et al. 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Avila, Andres
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

IUCN Red List Category and Justification of Conservation Status

The habitat of V. angusticeps is fragmented among large areas of coastal sand flats and montane isolates, and has declined in abundance due to development of the coastal flats and drainage of seasonally inundated wetlands. It has been estimated that these threats have resulted in a greater than 50% reduction in the abundance of V. angusticeps over the past century (Harrison et al. 2001). In the past 20 years, the species has virtually disappeared from sites where it was formerly abundant, such as Rondebosch Common in Cape Town (Rose 1929) and the Jan Marais Municipal Nature Reserve in Stellenbosch (E. van Dijk pers. comm.; Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Nevertheless, this species still has a relatively large extent of occurrence and area of occupancy away from urban centres, and is present in large protected areas such as Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, De Hoop Nature Reserve and Cape Peninsula National Park. Hence, B. angusticeps was assigned to the category Least Concern (Harrison et al. 2001). Its conservation status will require reassessment once the taxonomic status of inland and montane populations have been determined (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Cunningham, M.
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/