Family Pyxicephalidae

Strongylopus grayii (Smith, 1849)

Clicking Stream Frog, Gray’s Stream Frog, Spotted Stream Frog, Klik-langtoonpadda (A)

By A. Channing

Currently accepted name: Strongylopus grayii
Red listing status: Least Concern

Photo by Loftie-Eaton M, 2012. URL: FrogMAP: 1510


S. grayii is endemic to the atlas region where it is widely distributed. Its distribution extends from Western Cape Province, eastward through Eastern Cape Province and Lesotho to KwaZulu-Natal, and northward through Swaziland and Mpumalanga to Limpopo Province. The species has a marginal distribution in the Northern Cape Province and the Free State. S. grayii occurs from sea level to 1800 m in the mountains of Lesotho and Swaziland.

The atlas data are accurate but incomplete in the high-lying, northern parts of its range. In the southwest it is one of the most common and frequently recorded species in lowlands.


S. grayii is found in the winter-rainfall region of Western Cape Province, and in the summer-rainfall region to the north. Annual rainfall is 250–2000 mm in the winter-rainfall region, and 500–1000 mm in the summer-rainfall region. The species inhabits the entire Fynbos Biome as well as parts of the Succulent Karoo, Nama Karoo, Savanna, Grassland, Thicket and Forest biomes. Outside the relatively temperate, southwestern parts of its range, S. grayii is largely restricted to uplands.

Breeding habitat includes small dams, ponds, pools, ditches and shallow seeps. The species exhibits a wide tolerance to water quality, breeding, for example, in brackish pools along the coast within the spray zone and in flooded refuse pits.

Life history

This is one of the few frog species that breeds in the winter in the winter-rainfall region, and in summer in the summer-rainfall region. Males call throughout the day and night in the rainy season. The call site is often well concealed by vegetation or leaf litter at the water’s edge and the males are cryptic and difficult to locate.

About 250–350 eggs are laid, usually out of the water, up to 30 cm from its edge. They are deposited singly or in groups, in a single layer, in moss, under leaves, on mud or in crevices under rocks (Wager 1965; Channing 2001). In wet weather, tadpoles emerge from the egg capsules after 5 days and enter the water, but in dry weather they can survive in the capsules for as long as 63 days (Hewitt 1937). Development takes place over a period of 3–6 months (Wager 1965; Du Preez 1996).

The Yellow-billed Egret Egretta intermedia has been observed preying on these frogs in the southwest (J.A. Harrison pers. comm.)


This widespread and abundant species is not threatened or in need of specific conservation action.

Current distribution map

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


  • Web:
    FrogMAP. 2023. Strongylopus grayii (Smith, 1849). Animal Demography Unit. Accessed from; on 2023-12-01 08:12:46.
  • 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).