Guttural Toad

Sclerophrys (Bufo) gutturalis

Many South Africans in the northern and eastern parts of the country will be well familiar with the deep croaking of the Guttural Toad piping up in their gardens around sunset during spring and summer. They’ve also been introduced unintentionally to parts of the Western Cape. Naturally these very adaptable amphibians are found in the vicinity of permanent or ephemeral bodies of water in grassland and savanna habitats, feeding on a wide range of invertebrates and smaller reptiles and frogs. Apart from South Africa, the Guttural Toad is also widely distributed over eastern and central Africa.

During the cool, dry winter months in their South African distribution range, Guttural Toads remain dormant under rocks, in holes and burrows, even gutters and drain pipes.  Their breeding season commences as soon as temperatures start increasing in August where permanent water is available or as soon as the first spring rains arrive otherwise. Females may produce as many as 25,000 eggs (for a photograph of the eggs, please do visit this terrific recent post on the fabulous blog “Letting Nature Back In). The tadpoles grow quickly and complete their metamorphosis within 6 weeks. Their thickset bodies grow to 12cm in length, with females being the bigger sex.

The IUCN considers the conservation status of the Guttural Toad to be of least concern. Sadly many are killed crossing roads at night. Where their ranges overlap the Guttural Toad is known to hibridise with the closely related and similar-looking Raucous Toad.


15 thoughts on “Guttural Toad

  1. Bonnita

    I adopted two dachshunds from Cape Dachshund Rescue and no sooner did they arrive in my Stilbay home when they set to destroying everything in sight. My Froggie living under the kitchen cupboard was the first victim. This tragedy was followed by a younger Froggie and a crab with a cracked carapace that I’d rescued from the road close by. This is Kyalami in the holidays, I must inform you! After the killing fields, I was quite distraught. What puzzles me is the fact that they were not put off by the froggies’ defence mechanism. The doggies vomited and I suppose continued playing with the surviving one until it also died. All my dachshunds over the years have avoided frogs like the plague!


  2. naturebackin

    I also enjoy the calling and chorusing for frogs and toads. I enjoyed your pics – these toads really do have beautiful almost golden eyes. Thanks very much for the link to my recent post and your very generous comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anne

    The final photograph is superb. I fall into the camp of loving the sounds of frogs and toads – they provide me with the assurance that the immediate environment is doing okay for now.



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