Oreophrynella nigra

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Oreophrynella nigra
Oreophrynella nigra.JPG
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Bufonidae
Genus: Oreophrynella
Species: O. nigra
Binomial name
Oreophrynella nigra
Señaris, Ayarzaguena & Gorzula, 1994[2]

Oreophrynella nigra, or pebble toad,[3] is a species of toad in the family Bufonidae. It is endemic to the Guiana Highlands in Bolívar State, Venezuela, and known from two tepuis, Kukenan-tepui and Yuruani-tepui, both belonging to the Eastern Tepuis.[1][4]

Description and behaviour[edit]

It is a small species of toad: males measure 16.5–23.5 mm (0.65–0.93 in) and females 20.4–30 mm (0.80–1.18 in) in snout–vent length.[2]

When threatened, the toad folds its limbs under its body, tucks its head in and tenses in a ball shape. If on an incline (this is how it gets its name), this causes it to roll down the slope, escaping the attention of its predator, and looking like a dislodged pebble. Its cryptic black and dark grey coloring that may appear as dark navy blue to some blends with its sandstone habitat.[3]

Habitat and conservation[edit]

Its natural habitats are rocks and peat bogs in montane tepui environments at elevations of 2,300–2,700 m (7,500–8,900 ft) asl. It is classified as vulnerable because of its apparently restricted range.[1]

Media interest[edit]

This toad was featured on the BBC series, Life, pursued by a tarantula spider.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Enrique La Marca, Celsa Señaris (2004). "Oreophrynella nigra". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2004: e.T54852A11216075. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Señaris, J. C., J. Ayarzagüena, and S. J. Gorzula (1994). "Los sapos de la familia Bufonidae (Amphibia: Anura) de las tierras altas de la Guayana Venezolana: Descripción de un nuevo genero y tres especies". Publicaciones de la Asociación de Amigos de Doñana. 3: 1–37. 
  3. ^ a b c Pebble toad's rock and roll life, Matt Walker, BBC, 15 October 2009, Retrieved 6 November 2015
  4. ^ Frost, Darrel R. (2015). "Oreophrynella nigra Señaris, Ayarzagüena, and Gorzula, 1994". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 

External links[edit]