News item no. 4276

2013-03-22 Les Underhill 
Frog Friday in National Water Week focuses on a very water dependent species, the Cape Ghost Frog

Cape Ghost Frog

For National Water Week we are featuring a very water dependant frog for FROG FRIDAY – The Cape Ghost Frog Heleophryne purcelli. The Cape Ghost Frog is endemic to certain mountain ranges in the winter rainfall region of the Western Cape, South Africa. Adult females may attain a body length of 56 mm and males 47 mm. It only occurs in undisturbed habitat within the Mountain Fynbos or Afromontane Forest vegetation types and is dependent on clear, fast flowing, perennial mountain streams for breeding. When they are not breeding, ghost frogs utilize damp terrestrial habitat surrounding the streams and have even been found sheltering under rocks several hundred metres away from the nearest watercourse. They are well adapted for climbing in steep, rocky terrain and enter rock crevices and caves. By means of the adhesive pads on their fingers and toes they are able to climb virtually any wet or damp surface, including smooth, vertical rock faces.