Amatola toad

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Amatola toad
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Bufonidae
Genus: Vandijkophrynus
V. amatolicus
Binomial name
Vandijkophrynus amatolicus
(Hewitt, 1925)

Bufo angusticeps amatolica Hewitt, 1925
Bufo amatolicus Hewitt, 1925

The Amatola toad (Vandijkophrynus amatolicus) is a species of toad in the family Bufonidae. It is endemic to the Eastern Cape province, South Africa, where it is known from the Winterberg and Amathole Mountains.[1][2][3] The specific name refers to the type locality, "Amatola Range, near Hogsback".[2][4]


Amatola toads are small toads, with females reaching 38 mm (1.5 in) in snout–vent length. The dorsum is usually uniform dark grey or olive-brown with a distinct, pale, vertebral stripe. Parotoid glands are well developed. There are numerous small, flattened warts on the dorsal surface. The tadpoles are brown in colour.[3][4]

Habitat and conservation[edit]

Its natural habitats are high-altitude moist grasslands. Reproduction takes place in shallow temporary pools and seepages,[1] including pools formed in vehicle tracks.[3]

The species is known to congregate in large numbers to breed. However, it was not observed in 1998–2009 despite numerous searches, and the species was feared to be extinct.[1] In 2011, an adult female and many tadpoles were again discovered, on a site that had been searched before. Detection seems to require suitable weather, i.e., heavy rains that trigger breeding.[3]

The main threats to Amatola toad are loss of grassland through afforestation, overgrazing, and fires.[1] Forestry vehicle use during the breeding season can be detrimental to the tadpoles and breeding adults.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG); IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (2010). "Vandijkophrynus amatolicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2010: e.T3176A9651632. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-3.RLTS.T3176A9651632.en.
  2. ^ a b Frost, Darrel R. (2015). "Vandijkophrynus amatolicus (Hewitt, 1925)". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e Tarrant, Jeanne & Michael J. Cunningham (2011). "Rediscovery of the elusive Amatola Toad Vandijkophrynus amatolicus: twice seen in twenty-six years" (PDF). African Herp News. 55 (December 2011): 1–6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-19.
  4. ^ a b R.C. Boycott (2014). "Vandijkophrynus amatolicus (Hewitt, 1925)". African Amphibians. Retrieved 19 December 2015.