Correlation between development and increase of number of labial tooth rows in Ghost Frog tadpoles (Anura: Heleophrynidae)

Werner Conradie, Christa Conradie


The family Heleophrynidae is restricted to Southern Africa and comprises two genera with seven species. Tadpoles are well adapted, with huge sucker mouths, to live in the fast flowing headwaters of mountain streams. The unique sucker-like mouth has numerous transverse rows of labial teeth, which are used to attach themselves to the rock surface and to scrape algae from the rocks. In this paper data on the ontogenetic increase of labial tooth rows in tadpoles of four species of ghost frog are presented. Notes on the development of tadpoles and mouthparts are also presented.

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