Herpetology of Ethiopia and Eritrea

Conrauidae Dubois, 1992

African genus Conraua currently includes only six species of large frogs, from the family Conrauidae. Five of them occur in tropical West Africa, only one species, Conraua beccarii occur in the East Africa and it is endemic to the Ethiopian highlands in Ethiopia and in Eritrea.

Conraua beccarii (Boulenger, 1911)

Conraua beccarii is a large and highly aquatic species of frog found in the highlands of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Its dorsum is blackish or purplish brown, and its venter is whitish, spotted or marbled with brown on the flanks and throat. A broad fold is present along the outer edge of the fifth toe, and the subarticular tubercles are well developed. Another prominent fold is present across the interorbital region and behind the eyes, where it splits and extends down most of the length of the flanks. Males are particularly distinctive in appearance due to an enormous widening of the head, as well as two globular masses of muscle separated longitudinally on top of the head.
Vomerine teeth absent or in two very feebly develolied groups just behind the level of the small choanae. Head much depressed, much broader than long; snout broadly rounded, 2½ to 3 times as broad as long; canthus rostralis indistinct, loreal region grooved; nostril equally distant from the eye and from the end of the snout; eyes supero-lateral; interorbital space as broad as the upper eyelid; tympanum hidden. Fingers moderately long, with a distinct narrow dermal margin, the tips slightly swollen; subarticular tubercles well developed; first finger shorter than second, fourth slightly shorter than third. Tibio-tarsal articulation reaching the angle of the mouth; tibia 2 ¼ to 2 ¹/³ times in length of head and body. Toes rather short, fully webbed, terminating in rather large rounded disks embraced by the web; a broad fold along the outer edge of the fifth toe; subarticular tubercles well developed, very prominent; an elongate , blunt inner metatarsal tubercle, measuring 2/5 to 2/3 the length of the inner toe; a narrow tarsal fold. Skin smooth, or with very small, flat warts on the back; a strong fold across the interorbital region and behind the eyes, prolonged on each side to above the arm. Blackish-brown above, dirty white beneath; throat and sides of belly spotted or marbled with brown. Male without vocal sacs, with greyish nuptial rugosities on the upper surface of the four fingers. From snout to vent 103 millim.
This remarkable frog, of which three specimens were obtained at Fil-fil in a torrent on the Red Sea slope, is allied to the Asiatic R. kuhlii, D. & B. and the West African R. crassipes, Peters, in both of which the vomerine teeth are sometimes absent [According to BOULENGER].

This species occurs in northern and western Ethiopia, extending into southern Eritrea, in highlands west of the Rift Valley (Largen 2004). It has been documented from montane grasslands near both Asmara and Addis Ababa, and it appears to be common in forests at lower elevations near the towns of Jimma and Bonga in western Ethiopia (Largen and Spawls 2010)

Aquatic species. Inhabits places close to rivers, streams, and occasionally the large pools, around mountain meadows and forests. He prey various insects. When escaping, he jumps by very long jumps.

Description original:
Boulenger, G. A. 1911. Description of a new frog discovered by Signor Nello Beccari in Erythraea. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova. Serie 3, 5: 160.

Described as Rana beccarii

Common english name: Filfil Slippery Frog

Conraua beccarii - habitat, Dabenna river, Bedelle, Illubabor keflehager, Ethiopia

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