This summer season was a particularly moist one at Better Ukuwela Nature Reserve, with heavy rains inflicting the river to flood seasonal wetlands and enormous quantities of standing water in puddles and swimming pools proper throughout the reserve. This has resulted in a loud explosion of frogs together with the good-looking African Bullfrog, hiding round each nook and behind each tuft of grass.
African bullfrogs (Pyxicephalus edulis) are often known as lesser bullfrogs or edible bullfrogs…the latter being a most unenviable nickname. Aside from being on the menu for quite a lot of birds, snakes and different animals, they’re additionally eaten by people. They love flat, low-lying areas in open, grassy woodland that grow to be flooded after heavy rain or include shallow, seasonal pans. This precise habitat sort at Ukuwela makes our reserve a wonderful breeding habitat for this particular bullfrog.
Curiously, the African bullfrog has the flexibility to enter a hibernation-like state of dormancy inside a cocoon of cornified pores and skin, surviving underground for as much as 10 months. This helps them to climate the drier months of the yr however when the rains do fall in abundance, African bullfrogs spring to “life” in nearly swarm-like numbers.
Breeding is a loud and aggressive course of as males compete with one another for breeding privileges, typically combating to the loss of life. After eggs are laid in shallow, nicely vegetated our bodies of water, the males guard the eggs after which the tadpoles from predators and different males. Regardless of the bullfrogs’ greatest efforts, general inhabitants numbers are declining attributable to habitat loss exterior of specifically protected areas however for now their standing stays listed as least concern by the IUCN.