By: Presha Soogrim
In South Africa, we have such a rich diversity of frogs but today we want to shine the light on the three species you are most likely to encounter if you reside, or are on holiday in KwaZulu-Natal.
Let’s start with the Painted reed frog:
These beautiful dainty frogs grow just over 3cm and are often seen in shades of red, orange, pink, yellow and black with red legs, toes and fingers! Not only are they pretty to look at but their call is a beautiful chorus of whistles. They are most often heard calling between October and February each year.
Next up, let’s meet the adorable Natal tree frog:
Like the Painted reed frogs, they also have a huge variety of patterns but are often seen wearing emerald or lime green with golden brown markings. Their huge reddish eyes are a good way to identify the females. Natal tree frogs are only found in KwaZulu-Natal and nowhere else! You may have heard their loud yacking call from trees. They have well developed sticky discs on their toes which enables them to climb trees.
Lastly, the most commonly encountered garden frog- the Guttural toad:
These large frogs are common sights in gardens and can often be found breeding in swimming pools. Their ability to adapt to a variety of conditions allows them to be found in most areas. We are all familiar with their guttural snoring sound which can be really loud when the congregate in large choruses from late spring to early summer. The call may not sound appealing to you, but female Guttural toads cannot resist the sound and select a mate based on whoever’s call she finds most attractive.
Using pesticides to kill insects can indirectly kill frogs and the animals that feed on frogs like birds.
Consider frogs welcome visitors in our gardens and homes. When you see one, snap a picture and share it on #iNaturalist.