African Tree Toad Scientific Classification
KingdomAnimaliaPhylumChordataClassAmphibiaOrderAnuraFamilyBufonidaeGenusNectophryneScientific NameNectophryne afra
African Tree Toad Locations
African Tree Toad Facts
PreyInsects, Worms, SnailsDistinctive FeatureSmall body size and webbed feetAverage Spawn Size100HabitatTropical lowland forestPredatorsFish, Toads, BirdsDietCarnivoreLifestyle
TypeAmphibianLocationCentral AfricaSloganFound in tropical moist lowland forests!
African Tree Toad Physical Characteristics
Skin TypePermeableTop Speed5 mphLifespan3 – 5 yearsWeight2g – 5g (0.07oz – 0.18oz)Length2.5cm – 3.8cm (1in – 1.5in)
African Tree Toad Images
5 Incredible African Tree Toad Facts!
- Its classification is as a true toad as is every other member in the Bufonidae family.
- It has long, thin webbed feet for its semi-aquatic, tree-dwelling lifestyle.
- Many in the Bufonidae family have medicinal uses for their skin and parotid gland secretions, bones, and muscle tissues.
- It can shoot its long sticky tongue out to catch prey at lightning speed.
- It can reach a top speed of 5mph.
African Tree Toad Scientific Name
The scientific name of the African tree toad is Nectophryne afra. There are only two kinds in the Nectophryne genus, with the subspecies being the African tree toad and the Bates’s tree toad (Nectophryne batesii). The classification of the toad is as a true toad which all members of the Bufonidae family are, subdivided from the short-bodied, tailless amphibians of the order Anura. There are 35 genera in the family Bufonidae.
African Tree Toad Appearance
These toads has a camouflaging array of colors: Brown, black, white, and tan. Its small body is generally dark to light brown, with patches of white on its belly. This combination allows it to hide from predators in the grass as well as in trees. It also has long legs with long-thin webbed toes with round discs at the ends to enable it to climb and hop, while the partial webbing and wide toe separation enables it to get a strong grip on wide surface areas. Size-wise it grows anywhere from 2.5cm – 3.8cm (1in – 1.5in) in length and 2g – 5g (0.07oz – 0.18oz) in weight. Classification of the two subspecies is based on geographic location; otherwise, they are of similar color and size.
African Tree Toad Behavior
These toads are terrestrial (land-dwelling) and semi-aquatic by day, finding food and water on the ground and spending most of their time in water outside of the breeding season. Their tiny size and camouflage make them difficult to spot on the forest floor, while they use their partially webbed feet to hop and climb. They have solitary lifestyles. At night they use their camouflage and climbing ability to hide up high in the trees away from predators.
African Tree Toad Habitat
Both kinds of African tree toads have an amphibious semi-aquatic, lifestyle, so they prefer to live in the moist and tropical or subtropical climate of lowland forests or heavily degraded former forests with small bodies of freshwater. All members of the genus Nectophryne are native to Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, northeastern Congo, Bioko, and Equatorial Guinea. The habitat range of the African tree toad is West and Central Africa, extending from southwestern Nigeria through Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea (including Bioko), Gabon, and the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The different kinds or subspecies of these toads only differ by their habitat regions, with the Bates’s tree toad being found anywhere from southern Cameroon to southwestern Gabon through the southwestern Central African Republic to the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Both suffer from habitat loss due to deforestation and pollution of air and water, currently restricting them to tall forests.
African Tree Toad Diet
The diet of these toads is carnivorous. It shoots out its long sticky tongue at lightning-fast speeds to catch its prey. Plus, it can move at a top speed of 5mph (8km).
What do African tree toads eat?
Like other toads, African tree toads are predators. They lie quietly in wait to catch their prey. They then use their tongues to catch spiders, worms, snails, and other small invertebrates and insects.
What eats African tree toads?
African Tree Toad Predators and threats
These toads have permeable skin with toxic secretions. The secretions of its skin and parotid glands along with bone and muscle tissue have medicinal uses. Therapeutic compounds from 15 of the 47 frog and toad species used in traditional medicine are from the family Bufonidae, serving as a variety of remedies ranging from infections, bites, allergies, and inflammation to pain, heart disorders, cancer, and AIDS. Preservation of the species means the preservation of their toxins as medicine.
The species is also involved in the exotic pet trade. Although it is listed as Least Concern in terms of conservation status by the iUCN, it suffers from habitat loss and may compete with other toad species for food. Currently, it is restricted to living in taller forests.
African Tree Toad Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan
These toads breed during the spring, either in tree cavities containing water or plant-filled water hollows. The female lays an average of 100 eggs or up to 200 eggs after which the male guards the spawning site until the egg hatch into tadpoles, which takes 6-21 days. After the tadpoles develop into young toads, they leave the nest to hunt on their own. Their lifespan is 3-5 years in captivity, while their lifespan in the wild is unknown.
African Tree Toad Population
These toads are known to have a wide habitat range with groups of small populations throughout. While their exact numbers are unknown and they suffer from habitat loss, they are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.
African Tree Toad In the Zoo
These toads are present in a number of national parks, including the Korup National Park, which is on the border of Cameroon and Nigeria, Monte Alén National Park, which is near the center of Equitorial Guinea in central Africa, and Virunga National Park, which is in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The national parks exist as reserved areas to provide natural biodiversity for several flora and fauna species, unlike zoos, which keep animals in special enclosures with artificial habitats. Korup National Park, for example, has never been logged, and so serves as a protected habitat for the African tree toad.