Family Pyxicephalidae

Tomopterna tandyi Channing and Bogart, 1996

Tandy’s Sand Frog, Tandy se Sandpadda (A)

By A. Channing

Currently accepted name: Tomopterna tandyi
Red listing status: Least Concern (IUCN 2023)

Photo by Theron S, 2011. URL: FrogMAP: 219


This cryptic, tetraploid species is difficult to distinguish from T. cryptotis (see discussion in T. cryptotis species account). T. tandyi occurs in sympatry with T. delalandii at many localities, for example, Port Alfred (3326DB), and with T. cryptotis at, for example, Colesberg (3025CA).

On the basis of the few existing confirmed records (unpubl. data), T. tandyi appears to be distributed from the semi-arid Karoo region of South Africa northward into East Africa. It has been found from sea level to the inland plateau at >1800 m.

Distribution records, based on advertisement calls, were collected mainly in the southern parts of the atlas region by M. Burger and H.H. Braack. The distribution of this species in the northern and eastern parts of the atlas region is not well known as few verifiable records were collected by observers working in these areas. The distribution data shown on the map are therefore accurate, but incomplete.


T. tandyi inhabits loose, sandy soils. It occurs along small streams, pans and temporary rain pools, and is commonly associated with farm dams. It thrives in both arid and more mesic areas where annual rainfall is 50–>750 mm. Records are known from the Nama Karoo, Grassland and Savanna biomes.

Life history

Little is known of the reproductive biology of this species. Males call from exposed positions at the edge of newly formed pools, but also from beneath vegetation in flooded areas. Tadpoles vary in colour according to the turbidity of the water in which they are found.

Predators of this species are not recorded.


T. tandyi appears to be a widespread and common species that does not require conservation action. However, additional distribution data based on reliable diagnostic characters, such as advertisement calls, are needed to produce an accurate distribution map for this species.

Current distribution map

Undated records;  pre-1996;  1996 to 2002;  2003 to present


  • Web:
    FrogMAP. 2024. Tomopterna tandyi Channing and Bogart, 1996. Animal Demography Unit. Accessed from; on 2024-06-16 02:06:07.
  • Book:
    Minter L.R., Burger M., Harrison J.A., Braack H.H., Bishop P.J. & Kloepfer D. (eds). 2004. Atlas and Red Data book of the frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. SI/MAB Series no. 9. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Published by the Smithsonian Institution and the Avian Demography Unit (now Animal Demography Unit).