Tomopterna cryptotis (Boulenger, 1907)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Pyxicephalidae > Subfamily: Cacosterninae > Genus: Tomopterna > Species: Tomopterna cryptotis

Rana cryptotis Boulenger, 1907, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 7, 20: 109. Syntypes: BMNH, by original designation, and MCZ 19268 (on exchange from BMNH, according to Barbour and Loveridge, 1946, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 96: 182). Type locality: "Catequero, Ponang Kuma (Dongwenna), and in the Kafitu Swamps", Angola.

Rana delalandii cryptotisLoveridge, 1936, Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Publ., Zool. Ser., 22: 90.

Pyxicephalus delalandii cryptotisPienaar, 1963, Koedoe, 6: 79. Referring to what is now Tomopterna adiastola

Pyxicephalus delalandei cryptotisPoynton, 1964, Ann. Natal Mus., 17: 96. Referring to what is now Tomopterna adiastola.

Rana (Pyxicephalus) delalandii cryptotisMertens, 1971, Abh. Senckenb. Naturforsch. Ges., 529: 7. Referring to what is now Tomopterna adiastola.

Tomopterna delalandei cryptotisStevens, 1974, Arnoldia, Zimbabwe, 6: 6.

Tomopterna cryptotisPassmore and Carruthers, 1979, S. Afr. Frogs: 120; Poynton and Broadley, 1985, Ann. Natal Mus., 27: 125. Referring to what is now Tomopterna adiastola

Rana (Tomopterna) cryptotisDubois, 1981, Monit. Zool. Ital., N.S., Suppl., 15: 233, by implication.

Tomopterna (Tomopterna) cryptotisDubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 56.

English Names

Catequero Bullfrog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 110).

Cryptic Sand Frog (Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 329).

Common Sand Frog (Largen and Spawls, 2010, Amph. Rept. Ethiopia Eritrea: 194).


Angola, northern Botswana, southwestern Zambia and northern Namibia, although expected to be found more widely. See comment. 


See Tomopterna milletihorsini for North and East African records previously assigned to this species and Tomopterna adiastola for records from northern Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. Caution should be used in employing any of the citations below that are older than 2021 for southern Africa and 2008 for northern Africa, and about 2010 for East Africa. Good luck out there! Poynton and Broadley, 1985, Ann. Natal Mus., 27: 125-127, for account and synonymy for the species as then recognized from Botswana, Caprivi (Namibia), Zambia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. Pickersgill, 2007, Frog Search: 118-121, provided an account and suggested that this nominal species is composed of several lineages (which, in fact, turned out to be correct; see Tomopterna milletihorsini, Tomopterna tandyi, and Tomopterna adiastola). Zimkus and Larson, 2011, Zootaxa, 2933: 27-45, provided molecular data showing that records from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Somalia belong to other species (Tomopterna kachowskii, and Tomopterna elegans). Mercurio, 2011, Amph. Malawi: 291, provided an account as Tomopterna cryptotis for Malawi, although the current identification is unknown. Marques, Ceríaco, Blackburn, and Bauer, 2018, Proc. California Acad. Sci., Ser. 4, 65 (Suppl. II): 153–154, provided a map for Angola and brief discussion of the literature. Wilson and Channing, 2019, Zootaxa, 4609: 225-246, provided a map of Tomopterna as then recognized in southern and East Africa that should help with the confusion in the earlier literature. Channing and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 378–379, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map (prior to the recognition of Tomopterna adiastola). Baptista, António, and Branch, 2019, Amph. Rept. Conserv., 13 (e203): 96–130, reported on specimens from Bicuar National Park, southwestern Angola and commented on the unsettled state of systematics. 

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