IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Heleophryne rosei is a rare species known from few adults and only a slightly larger number of tadpoles. Egg masses have never been found. Reproductive activity has been inferred based on examination of gravid females. Breeding occurs in the spring and summer months during the period of low stream flow. This likely ensures that eggs will not be laid in streams that will later dry up. During the mating season, the male’s asperities reach peak emergence.

Tadpoles of the species develop slowly over a period of ~12 months in cold water. They are torrent adapted, using their suctorial mouths to gain purchase on the rocky surfaces of the streambed. Tadpoles feed on algae covering these rocks. After metamorphosis, individuals leave the streams before the onset of winter rains.

Adult behavior has not been well-studied. It is known, however, that adults do stray from streams, traveling across land.


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