How do large herbivores impact African savanna amphibians – An example of research performed at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Mark-Oliver Rödel)
Others, like the minute leaf-folding frogs (Afrixalus, here A. weidholzi) dramatically increased in numbers. The mating couples of these species fold grass leaves growing in water and put the fertilized eggs into this envelope. About a week later, the tadpoles then drop into the water during heavy rains. The increase of dense pond vegetation apparently is a big advantage for these frogs.
This was also the case for the previously almost omnipresent Red rubber frog (Phrynomantis microps). This species actually accepts overgrown ponds for breeding. However, the tadpoles prefer open water. Their predators are manifold and numerous (e.g. dragonfly larvae, diving beetles, fish, or turtles). As they do not swim very fast, they congregate in schools. This strategy seems to be only effective in open water.
Photos: Mark-Oliver Rödel (Museum für Naturkunde Berlin); Chaucer Astrolabium: British Museum, used by permission.
Text: Mark-Oliver Rödel, Gregor Hagedorn (Museum für Naturkunde Berlin)