Desert Rain Frog – the World’s Cutest Frog?

Many animal lovers, many frog lovers label the desert rain frog the, ‘cutest frog in the world.’ You may have seen the desert rain frog before; a video of the extremely cute, squeaky-toy of a frog went viral, garnering nearly 10 million views on popular social media platforms.

It’s hard to disagree with the frog’s fans when you cast sight on this puffed up, sand-dwelling, ball of cuteness, though an examination of it’s breeding habits, may change everyone’s view. However most breeding habits are messy. Apart from looking like it was snatched from central casting for Pokémon, the desert rain frog (Breviceps macrops) is notable for a number of reasons.

Physical Characteristics of the African Rain Frog

A small, yet corpulent looking frog with bulging eyes, a short snout, short limbs, spade-like feet, and webbed toes, the desert rain frog has a transparent region of skin on it’s underside that allows you to see its internal organs. This rotund frog can grow to be between 4 and 6 centimeters long (1.6 to 2.4 in). It has a yellowish-brown tint and sand sticks to its skin frequently.

Unlike most other frog species, it grows from the egg to adulthood without going through the tadpole stage. Its thick bulk and tiny legs prevent it from jumping or leaping, so it wanders around on the sand instead. The frog does not require water to exist in its environment which allows it to exist in desert regions. The frog’s eyes are disproportionately huge and protruding. Males have a deeply wrinkled throated region.

Desert Rain Frog - the World's Cutest Frog?
Desert Rain Frog – the World’s Cutest Frog?

Habitat of African Rain Frog

The nocturnal frogs, which are native to the Namaqualand coast of South Africa and coastal south-western Namibia, spend the day buried in sand dunes. To help them navigate their coastal environment, they have flanges on their back foot that act as miniature diggers.

Sea fog is common in their small patch of the world, which keeps the sand moist in an otherwise parched location. They have adapted translucent areas on their bellies with numerous blood arteries and capillaries that allows them to absorb water from the sand.

The desert rain frog is predominantly found on a narrow coastal strip of land between Namibia and South Africa that is about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) wide.

Fantastic Facts about Desert Rain Frog

  • The desert rain frog makes an abnormally high-pitched cry that sounds like a squeaky toy.
  • The desert rain frog likes pasture land and vegetation, such as fynbos, renosterveld.
  • The rain frog will puff itself up when it feels threatened to appear large.

Despite its lively charm, the African rain frog’s angry waring is what truly distinguishes it. When each frog species has its own call, B. macrops goes all out to defend its territory.

And sure, it occurs to us that this guy is squeaking so loudly because he is presumably annoyed by the gigantic Homo sapiens and his mystery camera-weapon staring at him so intently. However, because the charming creatures are now classed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with habitat loss as the primary threat, we hope that by sharing the cuteness, more fans and activists will step forward to help rescue the world’s prettiest amphibian.

Behavior of the African, Desert Rain Frog

The desert rain frog is nocturnal and spends the day in a moist sand tunnel built to a depth of 10 to 20 centimeters (3.9 to 7.9 in). It appears on both foggy and clear nights and wanders over the dunes’ surface.

The rotund frog leaves unusual tracks, which are frequently found around dung patches where it is thought to feed on moths, beetles, and insect larvae. It burrows into the sand in the morning, and its existence in a location can be determined by the small pile of loose sand that its digging operations have disturbed.

Renosterveld. Preferred home of the desert rain frog
Renosterveld. Preferred Home of the Desert rain frog


Males call from beneath foliage or from their burrows during mating season so that females can find them. She secretes a sticky material that glues him to her back because he is too little to have a strong grip on her.

Fertilization occurs in a tunnel dug by the female, which contains groups of roughly 22 eggs. They lay viable eggs and jelly capsules that keep the developing froglets wet. Females will stay burrowed near the eggs until the eggs hatch into young froglets, skipping the tadpole stage. Adults can reach a length of 45 mm.

Important Services of the Desert Rain Frog to the Ecosystem

African rain frogs, like burrowing frogs, aerate the soil, allowing water and nutrients to flow freely into the soil and be absorbed by plants. This behavior also permits other organisms in the soil to move freely. They are also prey for a variety of frog-eating creatures.

Conservation Status of African Rain Frog

IUCN Near Threatened

The conservation status of the African rain frog is Near Threatened. Agricultural and urban development have disrupted and fragmented its habitat across much of its range.

It’s possible that pesticides and herbicides used in agricultural settings have harmed them, which could explain why this species has disappeared from most renosterveld pieces in the Swartland.

Desert rain frogs are very localized distribution and abundant where they occur. They surface on misty/rainy nights/mornings.

Wildlife Photographer and Enthusiast Writing to

Q & A About Desert Rain Frogs

Which frog is the cutest?

The African Rain Frog, dubbed “the world’s cutest frog,” can be found in Namibia and South Africa. It has a peculiar high-pitched call that sounds like a chew toy for dogs.

What is the lifespan of Desert Rain frog?

These frogs have an average lifespan of four to fifteen years.

What causes frogs to scream?

Frogs only scream when they are threatened or afraid of something that they consider to be a threat. This is to frighten you away since it does not like being touched. Even during the day, the shriek resembles a scared baby’s cry and lasts for more than 5 seconds.

In Which order do desert rain frogs belong?

Desert rain frogs belong in the order: Anura

What species is a desert rain frog?

Desert rain frogs are a species of frog in the family: Brevicipitidae

You may like to read: Discovery of 3 New ‘Zombie Frogs’ (Genus: Synapturanus)

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