African Tree Toad

           Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:         Amphibia
Order:         Anura
Family:        Bufonidae
Genus:        Nectophryne
Species:     N. afra


This species occurs from southwestern Nigeria east through southwestern and southern Cameroon to mainland Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo. There are very few records through most of its presumed range, probably because of limited sampling. The distribution map assumes its occurrence in the large area between Cameroon and northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, for which there do not appear to be any records. There do not appear to be any records from Central African Republic and Congo but it is assumed to occur in these countries. It is recorded from the island of Bioko (Equatorial Guinea). It lives in lowland forest. It is generally restricted to tall forest, but house been found in farms near forest on Bioko. They spend the day on the ground, and move up on to the vegetation at night. They nest in tree cavities containing water, and the tadpoles develop there. The male guards the eggs.

Information and Description:

There are two known subspecies of African tree toad, which are the African tree toad and the Bates' tree toad. Both African tree toad species are of similar size and colour but tend to differ in the geographical regions which they inhabit. The natural habitats of the African tree toad are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and heavily degraded former forest, where there is a plentiful water supply. The African tree toad is generally dark to light brown in colour, with white patches on it's belly and like other toad species, the African tree toad has slightly webbed feet which aid it's semi-aquatic and tree climbing lifestyle. The African tree toad is a carnivorous amphibian that shoots it's long, sticky tongue out of it's mouth at incredible speeds to catch and secure it's prey. The African tree toad primarily hunts small invertebrates including insects, worms and spiders. Due to its small size, the African tree toad has numerous predators within it's warm, woodland environment. Fish, birds, lizards, snakes, rodents and larger amphibians like frogs and toads are all common predators of the African tree toad.

Little is really known about the reproduction of the African tree toad besides the fact that female African tree toads lay up to 200 sticky eggs in small bodies of water, which are then guarded by the male African tree toad until they hatch into tadpoles. Today, the African tree toad is a rare and highly endangered species with only a handful thought to be left in the African forests. Habitat loss caused by deforestation and rising pollution levels are thought to be the two main causes in the African tree toad's decline.

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