Herpetology of Ethiopia and Eritrea

Dicroglossidae Anderson, 1871

Hoplobatrachus occipitalis (Günther, 1858)

A large and flat ranid containing protruding eyes, numerous dorsal warts, and a minute inner metatarsal tubercle. It has complete webbing between the toes and fingers. A large dorsoventrally flattened ranid frog with a very warty skin whose eyes and nostrils are dorsally positioned (when viewed from above the eyes are contained within the outline of the head). Due to numerous glands, the skin is very slippery. Adult males reach lenght 52–104 mm.Broad mouth. The border of the lower jaw has three tooth like structures. Oval vertical pupil. The distinct tympanum is bordered by a bulging supratympanal fold. Males have paired lateral vocal sacs and considerably enlarged thenar tubercles. The skin of the throat surrounding the vocal sac slits is heavily folded. The warts on the flanks are usually arranged in longitudinal rows. The basic color of body and limbs is a yellowish green, olive or drab brown. Large dark green to blackish spots which occasionally form rows, are present on the back. Spots of the same color are present on the upper lip and on the extremities

Sub-saharan Africa from Senegal and Mauritania to Ethiopia, south Tanzania, DR Congo and north Angola. In Ethiopia lowland savanna in west on border with Sudan (Gambella, Asosa, Metemma).

It inhabits permanent and periodical water tanks, puddles and ponds. Also road ditches. In the dry season they may be buried in the underground and wait for the rainy season, when they reproduce. Males for a long distance loudly mooing. Females lays into the water on the bottom, or on the aquatic plants a large number of eggs size 1,6 - 1,8 mm. Inkubation of eggs takes several days, depending on water temperature. Hatched tadpoles feed on algae and aquatic vegetation. Adult frogs eat insects and other arthropods, small vertebrates, and often even smaller individuals of its species. In the Gambella we found them about 10 kilometers west of the city in a flooded ditch beside the road. The previous day was ditch totally dry, but in next day, after heavy rain, the ditch is full of water and full of frogs H.occipitalis.

Description original:
Günther, A. C. L. G. 1858. Neue Batrachier in der Sammlung des britischen Museums. Archiv für Naturgeschichte. Berlin 24: 319-328.

Described as Rana occipitalis

Common english name: African Groove-crowned Frog

Hoplobatrachus occipitalis - habitat, near Metemma, Amhara, Ethiopia

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