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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Too wet for amphibians?

 Sunday night we had one of our torrential downpours which have been the norm all summer. In a dry country such as ours we don't normally complain if it rains, but this summer   it has almost been too much of a good thing, even the amphibians are taking shelter from the rain.

This Cape claw less toad, which is almost 100% water dwelling, actually came into the lounge to get out of the rain it seemed. I put it out and two minutes later it was back. Not the prettiest of creatures, it's harmless enough and serves a useful purpose in nature. 

Years ago these hapless creature were kept by the hundreds at hospitals around the world as a reliable pregnancy test, the so called "frog test". Pop one of these in the urine of a woman and if the toad started spawning, accurate proof that the woman was pregnant. 

A great favourite as bait among bait fishermen, as they don't drown and their struggles to get off the hook attracts game fish, such as bass, sharp toothed catfish, (barbel) and large mouth yellow fish. (They are usually hooked through the skin on the back). 


Gorges Smythe said...

You sort of have to feel sorry for the little fellows when used for bait. They look easier for the human mind to identify with than worms.

Kay L. Davies said...

Not a beauty, Phillip, but very interesting. I've never heard of the frog test. I used to hear about the one where "the rabbit died" and always found that very depressing. "The frog started spawning" sounds much nicer.
Nice for the fisherman to have bait that doesn't drown, but I guess it doesn't survive being swallowed by bass, catfish, etc.