Family Brevicipitidae

Breviceps montanus Power, 1926

Cape Mountain Rain Frog, Mountain Rain Frog, Kaapse Bergblaasoppadda (A)

By JA. Harrison

Currently accepted name: Breviceps montanus
Red listing status: Least Concern

Photo by Grundlingh Felicity, 2012. URL: FrogMAP: 914


This diminutive species occurs widely in the Cape fold mountains of the Western Cape Province, from northeast of Clanwilliam (3118DD), to the Outeniqua Mountains in the southeast (3323CC). On the Cape Peninsula it occurs with B. gibbosus in some localities, and to the east its range coincides, in part, with that of B. acutirostris and B. fuscus.

B. montanus probably occurs in a number of relatively inaccessible mountainous areas not surveyed during the atlas period. The eastern limits of its distribution, in particular, are not yet certain.


B. montanus is restricted to the Fynbos Biome, and usually occurs in Mountain Fynbos vegetation, but is also known from altered habitats such as pine plantations. It is usually found on coarse, acidic, sandy soils, but it is also known from heavier, shale-derived soils. It generally occurs at high altitudes but is also found at sea level in areas where mountains reach the coast (e.g. Betty’s Bay 3418BD). In such coastal situations it appears to be restricted to fynbos vegetation and is not found in coastal thicket (cf. B. rosei).

Life history

Despite a relatively extensive distribution in the Western Cape, little is known of the biology of this species. Calling occurs both at night and during the day, usually during and after rain showers in winter and spring (June–November), but dense mist may be sufficient to stimulate calling. Channing (2001) collected a female with large eggs in October, and recorded calling activity in January. Males have been found calling from vegetation above ground level (Visser 1979d) or while moving about on the surface (L.R. Minter pers. obs.). The breeding biology is assumed to be similar to that of other members of the genus.


B. montanus occurs in relatively undisturbed montane habitat, and it is found within a number of protected areas. It is not threatened and is probably secure for the foreseeable future.

Current distribution map

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


  • Web:
    FrogMAP. 2023. Breviceps montanus Power, 1926. Animal Demography Unit. Accessed from; on 2023-12-01 08:12:52.
  • 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).