The Black Rain Frog or Breviceps fuscus looks grumpy but it is actually quite a nice little frog. It is a relatively small and averages approximately 2 in (5 cm) in body length, excluding the legs. The body is comparatively squat and compact in shape.
In color, the Black Rain Frog is typically an extremely dark brown and the skin is highly granular in nature.
This interesting animal has evolved several unique adaptations, for example – a cleft tongue. Additionally, the Black Rain Frog has the capability of folding its legs under its body.
If threatened, it will puff its body up to several times its normal size which serves to both deter many potential predators, as well as to prevent capture in some cases. If attacked in its underground tunnels, sometimes this temporary enlargement is sufficient to make it impossible for the predator to remove the frog from its tunnel.
Black Rain Frog Range, Habitat, and Ecology
The Black Rain Frog is perhaps only native to the Cape Fold Mountains, in southern South Africa. Within that range, they typically inhabit regions of both forests and heathlands on slopes and mountain plateaus.
The Breviceps fuscus resides at altitudes between sea level and 3,280 ft (1,000 m) and is primarily nocturnal.
This unique species is a burrower, creating tunnels that are typically shallow (about 15 cm).
During intercourse, the female excretes a sticky substance to prevent the male from slipping away. After the female lays eggs, the male will typically remain to guard them until hatching occurs.
Though their endemic range is highly restricted, the IUCN has listed them as a species of Least Concern. Their numbers appear to be plentiful and stable within their endemic range, at least for now.