Raucous Toad

Sclerophrys capensis (prev. Bufo rangeri)

The Raucous Toad is a regular inhabitant of South African gardens, especially those with running water fountains, and its duck-like “quacks” will be familiar to many people. Its natural habitat preference is for permanent ponds, wetlands, streams and rivers in fynbos, grasslands, savanna areas and coastal forests, where they feed mainly on insects and other invertebrates. Adults grow to 11cm in length. Raucous Toads breed in the summer months, with males calling repeatedly in groups from the vegetated margins of their watery abodes to attract and mate with the females. The eggs are laid in long strings among aquatic vegetation, and may number over 10,000 per female! Tadpoles take 2 to 3 months from hatching to complete their metamorphosis.

The IUCN considers the Raucous Toad to be of Least Concern. It is a common species but may be declining in parts of its range, which covers much of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

24 thoughts on “Raucous Toad

  1. Chereen

    We have about 5 Raucous Toads move into our large 60000L pond which has a wetland around it. The toads having been singing for the last two weeks and I find their rhythm quite meditative to sleep to and we all sleep like babies! This afternoon my daughter and I heard the male quacks and upon investigation, we found thousands of eggs! I can’t wait for tadpoles! Anyone know how long the eggs take to hatch?

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Kudos, Chereen, for making your garden a place where wildlife can thrive! The tadpoles may emerge from as little as 7 to 10 days after hatching – please come back and tell us how it is going with the youngsters?

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  2. Carmen Rieth

    At first I thought the Egyptian goose had come back to our pool when I heard the call, then discovered it was in fact these guys! We had 4 (then 3 – one unfortunately met our pool cleaner!) in our swimming pool for a few days, but couldn’t sleep for their calling. My son & I fished them out and re-homed them at the small dam down the road, where they met up with many of their friends!! Now we can all sleep easier!

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    1. Trudie Hopkins

      Handsome but noisy! Many sleepless nights. Even keep our neighbors awake. In chorus with buff spotted- flufftail. 🙂 🙂 Nature still AWESOME!!
      I do the same – use net to remove them from fishpond – and rehome in a stream nearby . Lots of buddies there…

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  3. petrujviljoen

    When I was new in the area here these toads made me get up in the night to go see what the fuss was about! Never heard anything like it. Once outside the house I realised the cacophony came from the pond and stream some distance from the house I was living in at the time. I couldn’t get to sleep for the noise they made. I now have one (perhaps two) living right at my front door and have learned to tell the time by when it (they) come out to do their thing.

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  4. colonialist

    It looks remarkably similar to our Amietophrynus gutteralis, the Gutteral Toad, which has a preferred habitat in our garden. I am not familiar with the quacks of the other species, but would like to bet that they are not as raucous as the ‘Craaaak-craaaak!’ of our lot!

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      You are quite right, Leslie – the Raucous Toad and the Guttural Toad are very closely related, and in fact can and do crossbreed where they share the same ponds. Apart from the call, the surest way to tell them apart is that the Raucous Toad has a dark band across the back of the head (behind the eyes) while the Guttural Toad has a light cross over the eyes and snout to the back of the head. The high-pitched quacks of the Raucous Toad really does give the deep croaks of the Guttural Toad stiff competition; have a listen here: http://www.frogbook.co.za/Calls/46_Raucous_Toad.mp3

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