Grey foam-nest tree frog
|Grey foam-nest tree frog|
|In the Okavango Delta, Botswana|
The grey foam-nest tree frog or southern foam-nest tree frog (Chiromantis xerampelina) is a species of frog in the Rhacophoridae family. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, dry savanna, moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, intermittent freshwater marshes, arable land, pastureland, rural gardens, urban areas, heavily degraded former forests, ponds, and canals and ditches.
The grey foam-nest tree frog mates in what is described as the most extreme example of polyandry of all vertebrates. The simultaneous polyandry begins when a female begins releasing eggs onto a tree branch. Up to 12 males then cluster around her and fertilise the eggs by producing sperm which they whip into a foamy 'nest' with their hind legs. The female will leave temporarily to rehydrate before returning to the nest, as the entire ordeal can last several hours.
Offspring of these polyandrous encounters are more likely to survive than the eggs fertilised by a single male.
- Harmonious orgy is winning formula for frogs, Australian Geographic, February 22, 2011.
- Poynton, J.C., Schiøtz, A. & Howell, K. 2004. Chiromantis xerampelina. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 23 July 2007.
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