Breviceps gibbosus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Breviceps gibbosus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Giant Rain Frog
Taxonomic Notes: This species, originally named Rana gibbosa, was the first African frog species to be entered into the Linnean system of nomenclature in 1758.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2010-02-08
Assessor(s): South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG), IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Angulo, A. & Cox, N.A.
Contributor(s): Channing, A., Turner, A., de Villiers, A., Harvey, J., Tarrant, J., Measey, J., Tolley, K., Minter, L., du Preez, L., Burger, M., Cunningham, M. & Davies, S.
Listed as Near Threatened because even though its distribution is not considered to be severely fragmented and it occurs in >10 locations, it has a limited extent of occurrence and continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
2004 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the south-western Western Cape Province of South Africa, where it ranges from the central Cape Peninsula in the south, to west of Citrusdal in the north. There is a distribution gap in the Swartland. It ranges from sea level up to 1,000 m asl. Its Extent of Occurrence is 6,700 km2, with an Area of Occupancy estimated to be 10% of its Extent of Occurrence.
South Africa (Western Cape)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It can be relatively common in parts of its range. Its distribution is not considered to be severely fragmented (as less than half of the individuals can be found in isolated patches) and it is estimated to occur in over 10 locations.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a burrowing frog of renosterveld fynbos heathland. It also occurs in disturbed habitats, such as pine plantations and gardens and there is ongoing decline in its habitat over much of its range. It breeds by development occurring directly in subterranean nests with up to 22 froglets recorded for this species (Minter et al. 2004), and is not associated with water.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no reports of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although it is somewhat adaptable, its habitat has been severely reduced and fragmented by agricultural expansion in much of its range and urban development in parts of its range. It is possibly impacted by the use of pesticides, and herbicides, and this might account for the apparent absence of the species from most renosterveld fragments in the Swartland, north of Cape Town.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No research or conservation actions are currently prioritised for this species. However, it would be important to discover the influence of pollution from pesticides on this and other species in the genus. Population estimates are required in order to conduct monitoring, especially in areas of land transformation. It occurs in several protected areas, including Cape Peninsula National Park, Helderberg Nature Reserve, and Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve.

Bibliography [top]

Channing, A. 2001. Amphibians of Central and Southern Africa. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London.

du Preez, L. and Carruthers, V. 2009. A complete guide to the frogs of southern Africa. Struik Nature, Cape Town.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.

McLachlan, A. 1978. South African Red Data Book - Reptiles and Amphibians. South African National Scientific Programmes Report.

Minter, L.R., Burger, M., Harrison, J.A., Braack, H.H., Bishop, P.J. and Knoepfer, D. 2004. Atlas and Red Data Book of the Frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. SI/MAB Series No. 9, Washington, D.C.

Citation: South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG), IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2010. Breviceps gibbosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 02 September 2015.
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