Driving through the bush one morning very early, our eyes not fully awake yet, we spotted a strange white object on a tree stump a few meters away from the vehicle. It could have been an overturned leaf, maybe a splat of owl dung from the previous night. Or even a bit of white colour lichen stuck to the decaying tree stump.
On closer inspection we found this little girl! A beautiful foam nest frog female (Chiromantis xerampelina). Females are generally larger than the males. Their claim to fame is their very impressive foam nests that they build overhanging standing water and even seasonal puddles of rain water. The female will excrete a secretion from her back, and this is then whipped into a bitter foam by the female and the male by beating the secretion into a foam with their hind legs. Up to 1000 eggs are deposited within the foam which then hardens into a meringue like consistency. The tadpoles will fall through the foam and (hopefully) into the waiting water where they continue their metamorphosis.
After inspecting this little lady and her fascinating sucker-type fingers, she was put back on her perch and bid a fond farewell.
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