rain frogs

African Rain Frogs Look Like Little Angry Avocados

We all have those bad days, once in a while, and if you’re not an excellent actor, you’d end up walking around with a grumpy face that screams, “Not in the mood.” Well, lucky for us it only happens once in a while. Think of these little guys who have to wear that annoyed look every day of their lives. Whose spirit animal is this?  Well, in any case, at least the rain frogs are adorable.

The Black Rain Frog, Breviceps fuscus, is a small species from the Brevicipitidae, native to South Africa, and found only in the southern slopes of the Cape Ford Belt [1]. All species of rain frogs are typically tiny-bodied amphibians native to Eastern and Southern Africa. The Black Rain Frog is a burrowing species that does not require open water to survive and can typically be found at elevations of 3300ft (approx 1,000m). 

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The frogs have small round bodies with very short limbs and toes. An adult Black Rain Frog may grow as tall as 1.6-2 in (40-51 mm). They are mostly a dark brown shade or a very dark grey with granulated skin. The skin has no warts but appears excessively rough due to the almost even sprinkle of granules.

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Perhaps, the most unique thing about this species is the configuration of facial features that makes them appear permanently angry. They may seem unapproachable, but they are not actually annoyed all the time. It’s just their natural face.  

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Huffing and puffing

As if the weird face isn’t enough, this frog has the uncanny ability to puff itself up when it feels endangered or threatened, making it even look angrier and sometimes, haughty. Some of the frogs look more heartbroken than angry, but it’s tough to catch any positive vibes from these little guys.

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Just like other species in the rain frog family, the Black Rain Frog shows direct development, which means there is no free-living larval stage. The female lays about 42 eggs per clutch in a half-inch (15mm) wide burrow. The eggs are extremely small, about 0.2in (5mm) in diameter, yellow-colored, and highly susceptible to attacks from small predators. This is why the males can often be seen guarding the eggs until they hatch.

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On the IUCN red list, the Black Rain Frog is of least concern even though they are found in only one location in the world. They are native to the area and the populations do not appear to be threatened, although afforestation and recruiting habitat loss are possible issues.

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One comment on Instagram read: “If I were an animal, this would be me. This frog reminds me of grumpy cat, and the funny thing about all these angry-looking animals is that they somehow manage to still be adorable. Don’t you just love that lil down-turned pout!”

Photos:

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  1. Anastasia Arellano. African Rain Frogs Look Like Little Angry Avocados.’ The Rainforest Site. Published July 7, 2020.
Thomas Nelson
Freelance Writer
Thomas is an environmental advocate currently residing in the Pacific Northwest. In his spare time, he enjoys experiencing the outdoors, raising chickens and ducks, and reading about current environmental issues. Despite slight colorblindness, his favorite color is green.
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