Sclerophrys pantherina (Smith, 1828)
Western Leopard Toad
© 2016 Daniel Portik (1 of 8)
Bufo pantherinus is a large toad, with a SVL of 122 mm in the females. This species has a number of indistinct glands running along the underside of the forearm, along with glands behind the jaw that are smaller and not joined into a ridge. Parotoid glands are large and distinct and have a lateral edge running straight across. Dorsal coloration is described as red-brown markings outlined in black atop a vibrant yellow background. The snout top and belly coloration are free of dark markings, and a pale thin vertebral line runs along the dorsum.
Tadpoles possess fins with distinctively curved margins on their upper and lower sides. Eye to eye length of these tadpoles is noted to be larger than eye to nostril length. Pigmentation covers the posterior region of the tadpole's tail muscles completely, while only covering about 2/3 of the upper tail muscle. No papillae exist on either side of the mouth within the oral disc of the tadpoles.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: South Africa
Bufo pantherinus is indigenous to the southwestern tip of Africa. The frog is known to inhabit bodies of water ranging from large wetlands, vleis, dams, and sluggish water shallow to temporary ponds filled with seasonal rains. Breeding in usually takes place within the smaller temporary ponds to avoid predation. Unfortunately much of this habitat has been destroyed due to local housing developments.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Bufo pantherinus has a distinct call that is described as a slow snore, given while the frog is under vegetation at the edge of the water, or while submerged completely in deep water. This species is an explosive breeder. All breeding activity takes place within a 4-5 night time period every spring. During this time period, males search out mates. Surprisingly, given the competition to find mates in such a short mating period, they do not attempt to displace other males that have engaged females in amplexus. Eggs of this frog are laid within shallow marshy areas, in batches consisting of around 25,000 eggs. The egg laying occurs from late August through October depending on when the rains appear. Metamorphosis takes place in mid-December.
One unusual food item that the frog is said to consume are snails.
Trends and Threats
Large portions of this frog's original habitat have been lost due to the construction of houses.
Channing, A. (2001). Amphibians of Central and Southern Africa. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.
Originally submitted by: Adam Boisvert (first posted 2007-11-27)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2008-03-01)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Sclerophrys pantherina: Western Leopard Toad <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/246> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 28, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 28 Mar 2023.
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