Black may not be the first color you think about when imagining frogs and toads. Many are green or even brown but few are black.
Some species in North America and around the world have partial or full black coloring. These frogs and toads may also show other secondary colors and maybe some of the most difficult to spot without them.
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Are Black Frogs and Toad Poisonous?
While not all black toads and frogs are poisonous, there are numerous species of Central and South America that can use poison against predators.
Some species can even be lethal to predators and may cause severe adverse reactions in humans handling them.
Types of Black Frogs and Toads
Some of the following species of frogs and toads come with either a partial or a full black appearance and can be found on different continents.
1. Black Rain Frog
A South African Species, Black Rain Frogs (Breviceps fuscus) are known for their dark and often black appearance.
The nuance of the species ranges between dark brown and black.
Uniform coloring is specific to these frogs. They have smooth skin and a rounded body shape.
Frogs of this species may live long lives, with many Black Rain Frogs surviving to 15 years.
Unlike agile frogs that can jump their way to safety, Black Rain Frogs are known to burrow deeply to escape predators. This is one of the reasons why they are mostly black.
Common size – up to 2 inches
2. Roraima Bush Toad
Roraima Bush Toads (Oreophrynella quelchii) are among the many species of black frogs that live in remote areas, often away from inhabited areas.
These small frogs are all-black. They show warty skin and the ability to live in direct sunlight.
A South American native, Roraima Bush Toads live on open rocky terrains, particularly on tepui mountains.
These types of mountain tabletops are seen in very limited habitats such as around Venezuela.
Historically, tepui regions are seen as sacred and their range is part of national parks and protected, as a result.
Common size – 0.8 inches to 1 inch
3. Dattatreya Night Frog
Dattatreya Night Frogs (Nyctibatrachus dattatreyaensis) are among the newest recognized black frogs in the world.
This species was first discovered in 2008 in India.
It shows an all-black color with warty skin. The habitat of the species may make it more vulnerable.
These black frogs only live in areas with herbs. As these herbs are collected by locals, the habitat of Dattatreya Night Frogs diminishes
Common size – 1.5 inches
4. Tasmanian Froglet
The Tasmanian Froglet (Crinia tasmaniensis) is one of the rarest types of black frogs in the world.
Frogs of the species are only found in Tasmania and typically come in a black color or a dark brown color.
While a dark nuance species, Tasmanian Froglets aren’t uniformly-colored. They may or may not have a lateral red stripe and they may or may not have red marks on their ventral side.
A red stripe is sometimes seen on these frogs. It runs from the mouth to the back of the body.
Frogs of this genus live in different types of shallow water and in temporary water next to streams or rivers.
Common size – 1.1 inches
5. Bainskloof Moss Frog
A species that may be almost completely black, this type of frog (Arthroleptella bicolor) also shows tiny white dots along the dorsum.
Apart from its black morph, the frog also comes in a dark brown morph.
Native to South Africa, The Bainskloof Moss Frog is a species that grows to a maximum size of 0.8 inches.
While a rare sight outside of its range, its numbers are secure as it lives in moist protected areas.
A species of high altitude, Bainskloof Moss Frogs are found among pine and it breeds from June to August.
Common size – 0.8 inches
6. Pale-striped Poison Frog
Black and brown colors dominate the appearance of Pale-striped Poison Frogs (Ameerega hahneli).
Its warty dorsum is dominated by black while its legs are gray. A striped appearance is specific to the sides of the frog.
2 white or yellow stripes are seen along the sides.
Blue nuances are also seen around the yellow lateral stripes of the breeding male Pale-striped Poison Frog.
Dominant and aggressive males are seen during the breeding period.
This is a South American species, native to The Guianas. It lives in tropical forests and cannot be found in other South American countries.
Common size – 0.7 inches
7. Painted Antnest Frog
Mostly black, The Painted Antnest Frog (Lithodytes lineatus) is a species native to South America.
Its dorsum is dominated by black while its legs are mostly brown. This is a species with a striped appearance, showing dual golden-yellow stripes on the back.
Its large eyes are brown. Some of the common morphs of these frogs include a brighter brown appearance.
This is a species of The Amazon, that is present in numerous countries of South America. It lives in temporary water in tropical forests.
These are forests at varying altitudes, up to a few thousand feet.
Painted Antnest Frogs are found in Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Bolivia.
Common size – 1.5 inches
8. Brazil-nut Poison Frog
With a mostly black appearance, Brazil-nut Poison Frogs (Adelphobates castaneoticus) are among the most poisonous types of frogs in South America.
Much of their appearance signals a potentially poisonous status to their predators. These are black frogs with a bright yellow pattern across the back and legs.
A species of the rainforest, Brazil-nut Poison Frog is a species with a largely elusive presence in its range, which is constantly expanding.
Found along rivers, this is a species that lives in forests. It hides in ground-level vegetation and dead leaves.
Found along Brazil’s nut trees, these are frogs with peculiar breeding habits. For example, males take on guard duties after the female lays eggs in shallow water.
Common size – 0.7 inches
9. Yellow-throated Frog
A species of Trinidad and Venezuela, Yellow-throated Frogs (Mannophryne trinitatis) come in black or brown.
Males of the species are more likely to be black as it’s believed they can use their color change capacity to attract females interested in breeding.
Females take a few days to deposit the emerged tadpoles after breeding.
Frogs of this species live next to rivers and come out when it rains. They can be mostly black or black on the sides with a brown dorsum and brown legs.
Common size – 1 inch
10. Mexican Burrowing Toad
One of the most distinguishable black toads is The Mexican Burrowing Toad (Rhinophrynus dorsalis). This is a species that has a black color but also features a mid-dorsal red stripe.
A thin colored stripe makes the species stand out. Further distinct physical traits include having larger females.
This species lives in tropical forests and it prefers to hide in high drought periods.
Its name comes from the capacity of the species to dig burrows and move underground to escape the high summer heat.
The smaller male Mexican Burrowing Toad is more likely to be spotted in the summer.
Males come out to call for females. They have a couple of known calls to signal their breeding desire.
Common size – 3 inches
11. Black Toad
Black Toads (Anaxyrus exsul) are one of the rarest types of black toads in The United States. This is a species with a confirmed presence in California.
It lives along canals as well as streams and rivers in the Southern parts of the state.
There aren’t any other confirmed US territories for the species which may be a reason of concern when it comes to its distribution.
A rare sight even in California, Black Toads are named after the large black spots that dominate their appearance.
This is a species that doesn’t have the same vocal capacities as Mexican Burrowing Toads. Black Toads only make chirp-chirp high-pitched calls.
Common size – 2 inches
12. Black Narrow-mouthed Frog
One of the most secretive black frogs is Black Narrow-mouthed Frog (Ctenophryne aterrima). An all-black color makes them difficult to spots, but these frogs rarely come out in the open as well.
Found in tropical forests, the frogs are among the multiple species which show a secretive nature.
They live under leaf litter and they are also known to burrow in periods of high drought.
They can go as deep as tens of inches into the ground to escape dry and hot weather.
Frogs of this genus are found in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia.
Common size – 2 inches
13. Kinabalu Dwarf Toad
An Asian native, Kinabalu Dwarf Toads (Pelophryne misera) are seen in forests of Indonesia, Malaysia, or The Philippines.
These types of frogs are largely absent from other regions of the world due to their very specific habitat needs.
Found at high elevations, Kinabalu Dwarf Toads live in dwarf forests. These are rare types of forests with small trees or pygmy trees. These are known to only be inhabited by small animals such as frogs and rodents.
The species lives among ground-level leaves and is difficult to spot due to its all-black wart-covered skin.
Common size – 0.6 inches