Hairy frog

The predominantly terrestrial hairy frog lives in subtropical and tropical forests & rivers of West Africa

Gustavo Carra

A truly unique amphibian species that defies conventional expectations. Found in Central and West Africa, these frogs possess extraordinary adaptations that set them apart from their frog counterparts. Its body is covered in tiny, hair-like projections, giving it a furry appearance. These projections are actually modified scales and are more prominent in males than in females. The frog’s skin color can vary from brown to gray, with darker spots or stripes.

Hairy frogs are found in humid forest environments, where they inhabit leaf litter and vegetation near streams and rivers. They are nocturnal and spend most of their time hidden under leaves or rocks during the day. They are skilled climbers and can often be found perched on branches or leaves.

One of the most remarkable features of the Hairy frog is its ability to break its own bones to reveal sharp claws in its toes, which it employs as a last resort defense mechanism. This extraordinary behavior has earned the frog its alternate name, the Wolverine frog, drawing parallels to the fictional Marvel Comics character known for similar self-regenerating abilities.

In addition to their formidable claws, male hairy frogs exhibit another intriguing adaptation during the breeding season. They produce long hair-like strands of skin and arteries, which serve multiple functions. These “hairs” aid in oxygen absorption through the skin, allowing the male frogs to respire more efficiently while caring for their brood. This unique reproductive strategy highlights the incredible diversity of adaptations observed in amphibian species.


Population est.
Presence Uncertain: Cabinda
Presence Uncertain
DR Congo (Kinshasa)
Equatorial Guinea

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No