Pyxicephalus edulis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Pyxicephalidae

Scientific Name: Pyxicephalus edulis
Species Authority: Peters, 1854
Common Name(s):
English Edible Bullfrog, Edible Frog
Taxonomic Notes: This species was elevated from subspecies status under Pyxicephalus adspersus by Channing et al. (1994). The populations in West Africa might belong to a different species from those in eastern and southern Africa (Rödel 2000).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-07-10
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): Channing, A., Poynton, J., Howell, K. & Minter, L.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Morris, E.J.
Listed as Least Concern because, although it is also eaten in parts of its range, it has a wide distribution, is tolerant of a broad range of habitats and has a presumed large population.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species ranges from southern Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania, south to Mozambique, southern Malawi, southern Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, northern and eastern South Africa and Swaziland.
There are also populations currently assigned to this species in northern Benin, northern Nigeria and northern Cameroon, and in Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia. There are no records in the poorly explored regions between Cameroon and Somalia, and so its occurrence in these areas is not indicated on the distribution map. However, it might occur in the intervening areas in the Central African Republic, Chad, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, and also in Togo, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Guinea. 

Its distribution in eastern and southern Africa needs re-examination in light of recent separation of Pyxicephalus edulis from P. adspersus. Many specimens have not been clearly assigned between these two species, and so the distribution map should be regarded as provisional. It occurs from sea level up to 1,500 m asl in South Africa.
Countries occurrence:
Benin; Botswana; Cameroon; Gambia; Kenya; Malawi; Mauritania; Mozambique; Nigeria; Senegal; Somalia; South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is a common species in East Africa and is quite common in South Africa.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits flat areas in open grassy woodland and marshy areas in eastern and southern Africa, and in very dry savannah in West Africa. It has been recorded from riverine and woodland habitats in western Tanzania (Gardner et al. 2007). It is fossorial, only coming to the surface at the beginning of the rainy season. It breeds in shallow, well-vegetated seasonal pans (although it has also been found at a puddle without vegetation in northern Benin; Nago et al. 2006), as well as many man-made small waterbodies. It has been found in rice paddies in Mozambique. It is active at night during the breeding season. The males guard the tadpoles, protecting them from predation.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is widely used for human food and is occasionally found in the international pet trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat through most of its range is harvesting of frogs for local consumption. This species is sometimes also found in the international pet trade but at levels that do not currently constitute a major threat. In western Tanzania, much of the miombo woodland area is increasingly threatened by habitat degradation following conversion to agriculture or overharvesting (see Gardner et al. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are large populations in many protected areas.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2013. Pyxicephalus edulis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T58536A3070901. . Downloaded on 28 May 2016.
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