n African Journal of Herpetology - Observations on the breeding behaviour of the Taita dwarf toad on Mt. Mbololo, Taita Hills, Kenya - : short communication

Volume 58, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2156-4574
  • E-ISSN: 2153-3660
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Very little life-history information is available regarding the 13 species of earless dwarf toads from the genus . We report our observations on the breeding behaviour of from Mount Mbololo in the Taita Hills, Kenya. Empirical data from pit-fall trapping suggest that they are not abundant in the area (< 1.5 % of captures), although we managed to batch mark 230 individuals from breeding assemblages in road puddles during 20 days in November 2007. Results reveal that most individuals depart from a breeding site within 24 hours, although some (around 10%) remain while others travel up to 100 m to nearby puddles. Despite their lack of columellae, these dwarf toads appear to react to conspecific distress calls. Eggs develop rapidly into tadpoles and toadlets within 15 days of being laid, but tadpoles were not observed to use their ''crown'' at the water surface as previously reported. Instead they were observed submerged in liquid mud at the periphery of puddles. Our brief observations on this species suggest that conservation assessments on threatened members of the genus may be problematic, and we highlight the paucity of natural-history information on dwarf toads in general.

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