Amphibians Of The Central African Republic

The worm-like Gaboon Caecilian (Geotrypetes seraphini).
The worm-like Gaboon Caecilian (Geotrypetes seraphini).

The watersheds of the country's tropical rivers house several species of frogs found nowhere else on earth. The rain forests and lowland forests provide habitats to more than 29 species of amphibians. In Central Africa, tropical rainforests cover about 36% of the country. The country's location in the tropics with a moderate climate and temperature facilitate the survival of these amphibians. The Geotrypetes seraphini is one of a kind amphibian. With its viviparous nature, the worm-like species, native to Central Africa does not require water to breed. Other amphibians such as the Kassina and caecilian species require water to reproduce.

Silver Running Frog (Kassina cassinoides)

The Silver Running Frog (Kassina cassinoides) is a medium-sized frog species. This particular species is the largest member of the genus Kassina. It has a large body and small legs. The snout to vent length is approximately 40 to 50 millimeters. The frog species has a silver-gray or yellow background. The back has distinctive six broad dark stripes where the middle two lines are very close and may partially confluent. The fingers are not webbed, and the toes show slight webbing. The digits are capped with small circular disks. Kassina cassinoides is a native West African species found in the Central African Republic, northern Cameroon, Benin, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Southern Mali, and Togo. The species prefer the dry savannas, wooded savanna, and forest fringes. Kassina cassinoides is oviparous. Breeding is temporarily in water where vegetation cover is dense and takes place during the rainy season. The breeding frogs call from the ground or high grounds in low-pitched calls. A female frog lays many eggs and attaches them to underwater plants or rocks. After three days, the tadpoles hatch. The species also favors savannas of low altitudes preferably between 900 and 1,500 millimeters of annual precipitation and a dry season of less than seven months.

Western Foam-Nest Tree Frog (Chiromantis rufescens)

The Western Foam-Nest Tree Frog (Chiromantis rufescens) is a large frog species native to Western and Central Africa tropical rainforests, secondary forests, and the transition zones found between forests and savannas. It does not thrive in heavily degraded former forests. However, it can survive in drier habitats. The habitats range from Central Africa Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Ghana, and other West African states. The frog exhibits full webbing and a tarsal webbing. The dorsal surface is gray or grayish green with indistinct darker marbling. The throat and ventral are white. The species limbs underside, inside the mouth and tongue appears as bright bluish green. The tadpoles have a uniform gray with a round body and a short tail. During the breeding season, males call from branches of the dense forests they inhabit. The call consists of two motifs of series clicks and buzzing. The female lays eggs on a foam nest above water. After five to eight days the tadpoles hatch and drop into the water. The species is not seriously threatened, but severe deforestation may cause a habitat loss.

Gaboon Caecilian (Geotrypetes seraphini)

The Gaboon caecilian (Geotrypetes seraphini) is a worm-like amphibian, limbless and blind. The caecilian species is found in Central Africa Republic, Congo, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. It prefers lowland forests but can also survive in heavily degraded habitats such as plantations, seasonally flooded agricultural fields, and villages. The skin completely obscures the eyes, near the edge of the upper lip. Adult species are about 400 millimeters. The species have a purplish gray background with the superficial annulus. Light gray lines run from the lateral side of the body to the ventral side. In contrast to many other amphibians, Geotrypetes seraphini is viviparous and does not need water for breeding. The female species carry 3 to 4 fetuses in their oviducts. After emerging from the egg membrane, the fetus's gills are absorbed. The adult female has an extremely high nutritious requirement and reabsorbs the yolk of her eggs. When feeding the Geotrypetes seraphini bites the prey repeatedly if they meet head on, or pulls the victim in the burrow, spinning the body rapidly, and uses the walls to damage the body further. The frog primarily depends on the anaerobic process of energy production and its gets exhausted very fast when involving in high levels of activity. The species has large population size and exhibits a high tolerance to habitats and modification. As such it is not considered threatened.

Gbanga Forest Tree Frog (Leptopelis Viridis)

The Gbanga Forest Tree Frog (Leptopelis Viridis) is a frog species native to the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Nigeria, and other states in central and western Africa. The habitats range from dry or moist savannas, tropical or subtropical moist and dry shrub lands, seasonally flooded lowland grasslands, ponds, canals, intermittent freshwater marshes, and pasture lands. The female is larger at 42 to 48 millimeters compared to the male at 33 to 35 millimeters. The frog is typically brown with darker markings on the dorsal. The species breed on temporary savanna ponds. Breeding calls consist of loud clicks with a slow buzz. The female deposits eggs in burrows on the ground near a water course. It is an adaptable species, facing no significant threats.

Most amphibians feed on insects and their larvae. Most need water to breed, so forests or seasonally wet or flooded lands provide adequate habitats. Also, amphibians adapt quickly to changing environment and thus their survival is not threatened. However, deforestation and poor methods of agriculture in the country cause habitat loss. These activities have turned the north of a once tropical forest country into a desert, and soon amphibian species will be threatened by lack of vegetation.

Amphibians Of The Central African Republic

Amphibians of the Central African RepublicScientific Name
Buala River FrogPhrynobatrachus nanus
Elbert's River FrogPhrynobatrachus elberti
Jacobsen's Long Reed FrogHyperolius jacobseni
Ngoto Reed FrogHyperolius acuticephalus
Pygmy River FrogPhrynobatrachus pygmaeus
Sternfield's River FrogPhrynobatrachus sternfeldi
Gaboon caecilian
Geotrypetes seraphini
Western Foam-Nest Tree Frog
Chiromantis rufescens
Silver Running FrogKassina cassinoides
Gbanga Forest Tree FrogLeptopelis viridis

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