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Coast Foam Nest Tree Frog

Foam Nest Tree Frog
Back Coast Foam Nest Tree Frog
Chiromantis xerampelina
Punda Maria
Kruger National Park
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Foam Nest Tree Frog

Foam nest frogs are native to tropical and southern subtropical Africa. This species lives in the dry thornscrub, bushes and trees of the central and southern African savanna. They spend much of the day sitting on tree limbs. When summer rainfall starts males call from branches overhanging water (often temporarary mud puddles), attracting both males and females. The female churns her secretions into a large white foam nest into which she deposits her eggs. These are then fertilised by the males. The eggs develop into tadpoles inside the hardening nest. After about 5 days the tadpoles become active and fall into the water below, living there until the metamorphosis is complete.
In order to survive at high temperatures and dry conditions, evolution has provided them with a highly waterproof skin with chameleon-like properties: usually the skin is whitish to reflect sunlight, but as this picture (taken after sunset) shows they can also camouflage to a blotchy brown. The scrunched posture is another adaptive mechanism that helps minimise exposure to the sun and water loss.

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Magnificent frog photography at Insect Photography

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