Foam Nest Tree Frog (Chiromantis rufescens)

A very common visitor that you might find in and around the lodge area is the Foam nest frog (also known as the Brown tree frog). The colour of these individuals depends on where you had seen them, as they can change their colour depending on their surrounding environment – when found on a tree they can be anything from a light to a very dark brown. In certain areas these frogs can be seen in a pearl white form.

Even though these frogs can change colour, their most interesting feature is the way they breed. The male will climb onto a branch that is overhanging a water source and start calling for a female to come and join him. The male will grasp the female (amplexus) while she starts laying the eggs. The male then externally fertilizes the eggs. During this whole procedure the male and female frogs gives off foam into which the fertile eggs are deposited. In this way the foam nest, that is overhanging a water source, eliminates the phase in which the eggs hang defenseless in the water, open to any sort of predation from fish to insects and even water birds.

When the eggs have fully developed into tadpoles they drop from the foam nest into the water where the free swimming tadpoles can defend themselves by fleeing to a safe spot.

Story by Riaan (River Lodge)
2013/10/03



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