Goliath frog (Conraua goliath)

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Goliath frog on rocks amongst shallow rapids
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Goliath frog fact file

Goliath frog description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAmphibia
OrderAnura
FamilyRanidae
GenusConraura (1)

The massive goliath frog (Conraua goliath), as its name alludes, is the largest frog in the world with individuals weighing over three kilograms (2). The granular skin is greenish in colour with a yellowish-orange underside, and the feet and hands are webbed (3).

Size
Snout-vent length: 320 mm (2)
Weight
3.3 kg (2)
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Goliath frog biology

Unlike most other frogs and toads, the goliath frog does not have a vocal sac and therefore courtship does not involve producing calls to attract a mate (2).

Females lay large clutches of several hundred eggs onto vegetation on the river bottom (3). Once the tadpoles hatch they feed on the food plant, which is only located near to waterfalls and rapids (2). It takes around 85 to 95 days for complete metamorphosis into the adult form (3).

Adults feed on insects, crustaceans and fish (2).

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Goliath frog range

The goliath frog is found in a narrow range in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon, south from the basin of the Sanaga River to the Benito, Wolo and Mbini Rivers (3).

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Goliath frog habitat

Inhabits fast-flowing rainforest rivers and cascades, which have sandy bottoms and rocks covered with Dicraea warmingii warmingii, the primary food source for the goliath frog tadpoles (3).

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Goliath frog status

The goliath frog is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered

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Goliath frog threats

Much of the dense rainforest of the goliath frog's habitat has been deforested for timber and to make way for agriculture. The construction of dams also threatens the breeding habitat of these frogs and this species is particularly vulnerable to habitat alteration due to its highly restricted range (2). Additionally, goliath frogs are considered a delicacy and are collected by local people for food (3); their large size has also encouraged collection for the pet trade in the past (2).

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Goliath frog conservation

The goliath frog is not currently protected under any trade restrictions and collection continues to threaten remaining populations. Captive breeding programmes have not proven successful and the only method of effectively preserving this amphibious giant is to safeguard areas of remaining habitat (2).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For more information on the goliath frog see: 

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Authentication

Authenticated (28/7/03) by Andrew Gray. Curator of Herpetology, University of Manchester.

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Glossary

Crustaceans
Diverse group of arthropods (a phylum of animals with jointed limbs and a hard chitinous exoskeleton) characterised by the possession of two pairs of antennae, one pair of mandibles (parts of the mouthparts used for handling and processing food) and two pairs of maxillae (appendages used in eating, which are located behind the mandibles). Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps, slaters, woodlice and barnacles.
Metamorphosis
An abrupt physical change from the larval to the adult form.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (July, 2009)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. American Museum of Natural History  - Goliath frog (April, 2003)
    http://www.amnh.org/nationalcenter/Endangered/frog/frog.html
  3. Amphibia Web (April, 2003)
    http://amphibiaweb.org/
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Image credit

Goliath frog on rocks amongst shallow rapids  
Goliath frog on rocks amongst shallow rapids

© Daniel Heuclin / www.photoshot.com

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