Can Common Rain Frogs Be Pets? [List + Pictures]

The common rain frog is found underground and only comes out after it rains, usually at night. It has a morbidly obese body and a grumpy face. But what frog enthusiasts really want to know is, can you keep these cute little creatures as pets?

Common rain frogs can be kept as pets. Rain frogs are typically low-maintenance. However, you must guarantee that their unique environment needs are met.

In this article, I’ve put together everything you need to know about how their habitats are set up, how they eat, how they reproduce, etc. You will get a step-by-step plan for how to take care of these beautiful frogs. So, if you want to learn more, I recommend you to read it till the end.

Is A Rain Frog a Good Pet?

Common rain frogs are minimal maintenance but demand a specialized habitat. It is going to need a substrate that can retain moisture and maintain its form.

Try to avoid using cumbersome ornamentation. There is a risk that the frog may dig under the item, causing it to get injured. Maintain a steady temperature in the enclosure and become acquainted with the frog’s eating habits.

Which Common Rain Frogs Can You Keep As Pets?

Rain Frogs are great pets for people who don’t have a lot of time because they don’t need much care. They are a great choice for someone who likes to take care of and watch a unique pet.

Some new pet owners think it’s hard to take care of frogs, but that’s not always the case.  If you have never owned a frog before, it can be hard to choose the right species for a beginner. Each species has its own characteristics, rewards, and needs for care.

This table will help you learn about rain frogs and choose the best one to keep as your pet.

RankSpeciesSizeLifespanCare Level
1Desert Rain Frog40-60 mm4-15 yearsEasy
2Cape Rain Frog42-45 mm5-15 yearsEasy
3Forest Rain Frog100-112 mm4-15 yearsEasy
4Rose’s Rain Frog30-34 mm4-15 yearsMedium
5Plaintive Rain Frog50-53 mm4- 15 yearsMedium
6Mountain Rain Frog44-45 mm3-12 yearsHard
7Black Rain Frog20-22 mm4-15 yearsHard
8Mozambique Rain Frog50-76 mm4-15 yearsHard
9Whistling Rain Frog30-33 mm4-15 yearsVery Hard
10Namaqua Rain Frog46-48 mm4-15 yearsVery Hard

8 Types Of Common Rain Frogs

Breviceps is a genus of frogs belonging to the Brevicipitidae family. Breviceps species are usually referred to as rain frogs or short-headed frogs. They inhabit the semiarid to arid regions of East and Southern Africa.

Here are some types of common rain frogs found in nature.

1. Desert rain frog

The desert frog has large eyes, short limbs, spade-like feet, and webbed toes. Under its skin, internal organs may be viewed. It’s 1.6 to 2.4 inches long. Sand sticks to its yellowish-brown skin.

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This frog skips the tadpole stage, unlike most others. Its thick bulk and tiny legs prevent it from hopping or leaping, thus it walks on the sand. It doesn’t need water to live like aquatic frogs. It has large, bulging eyes.

The desert rain frog is nocturnal and spends the day time in a hole or cave with built-in damp sand. It patrols the dunes during cloudy and clear nights. Its tracks are commonly seen near dung, where it eats moths, beetles, and insect larvae.

It burrows during the day, and its existence may be determined by the soft gravel it retracts.  Eggs are normally placed in the cave it stays in. When threatened, it makes a high-pitched squeaking noise. The male frog’s croaking is higher in pitch.

2. Cape Rain Frog

The cape rain frog, sometimes known as the huge rain frog (Breviceps gibbosus), is a frog species in the family Brevicipitidae. Adults may reach a length of 42 mm. It is the most common and biggest rain frog in the world.

The Cape rain frog hides below the ground and emerges right before it rains. It is also visible in hazy or wet weather. Its burrowing helps to oxygenate soil on the southern Cape. It eats worms and tiny insects. When frightened, it swallows air to expand its bigger size.

These frogs have strong, powerful legs that allow them to dig for protection. This species does not need open water to reproduce. In fact, it is incapable of swimming and will die if kept in water.

Male frogs scream from plants or caves during mating season to attract females. Because he’s too little to grab the female, she glues him to her back with sticky goo. The female digs a burrow where she lays about 22 eggs for fertilization.

They deposit fertile eggs and jelly capsules to hydrate froglets. Female frogs hide near eggs until they hatch as froglets, skipping the tadpole stage.

3. Namaqua rain frog

Namaqua rain frog (Breviceps namaquensis) is a frog from Brevicipitidae family. Namaqualand, South Africa, and southern Namibia are some of the places where you can find them.

The Namaqua rain frog has a small, circular body and a short, narrow head.  It has a squat, spherical body and a short, narrow head with big eyes, a flat face, and a tiny mouth.

The limbs are stumpy and short, with no webbing or sticky discs on the toes and fingers.  The bottom surface is mostly flat and white. Although the skin is transparent in certain places, the neck region may be grainy with black marks along the jaw line.

When threatened, these frogs expand and scream to frighten predators.   Winter, spring, and summer are all recognized as times of their reproduction. After it rains, they emerge to eat insects.

It lays jelly-like eggs in underground chambers. Once tadpoles hatch, the jelly melts into a liquid in which they reside until they become frogs.

4. Mozambique rain frog

The Mozambique rain frog also called the flat-faced frog (Breviceps mossambicus) belongs to the family Brevicipitidae. It lives in Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho.

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The Mozambique rain frog has short legs and a flat face. It has greyish-brown speckles to cover the dorsal area. Over the tympanum, a black stripe connects the eye and front leg.

Males have brown throats and a white abdomen with black markings. It has an unwebbed foot with two tiny toes.

When it’s dry, the Mozambique rain frog hides beneath rocks or dead trees. It eats insects. After a lot of rain when winged termites emerge, a lot of these frogs come out to eat them.

The Mozambique rain frog lays 22 yolk-rich eggs in what seems like a circular chamber beneath fallen leaves.

Each egg is around 0.24 inches in diameter with the shell. The embryos mature into froglets after 6-8 weeks. No tadpole stage or water is needed for their reproduction. The female offers childcare by remaining near the nest.

5. Forest rain frog

The forest rain frog belongs to the family Brevicipitidae. Its scientific name is Breviceps sylvestris. It lives only in Limpopo, which is in South Africa.   It lives in temperate forests and agrarian gardens in its normal habitat.

Forest rain frogs can be red, orange, yellow, green, or purple, among other colors. They can be as small as 2 cm long and grow up to be about 10 cm long.

Purple frogs have a defensive system that consists of a harmful substance on their slimy skin. Getting this poison on your skin can temporarily make you unable to move.

6. Plaintive rain frog

The Plaintive Rain Frog resides in burrows along Africa’s southeastern coast. They may be found in a wide range of environments, including grasslands, shrublands, and woods, as well as temperate and arid climates.

During the rainy season, the frogs emerge from their tunnels to procreate. They breed from late August or early September to the middle of November.

7. Mountain Rain Frog

The mountain rain frog is a species of frog that belongs to the family Brevicipitidae.  It is a kind of frog that is only found in South African region.

The shrubby vegetation and plantations typical of the Mediterranean climate is its native habitats.

8. Black Rain Frog

The black rain frog, or Breviceps fuscus, has a round body with short legs and toes. Its feet face inward, which makes it much easier for the frog to dig. The length from its nose to the vent is about 42–50 mm.

There are no warts on the skin, but there are clear, widely spaced lumps or small tubercles and pits. Most of the time, they are dark brown or almost black, with a slightly lighter belly and no patterns made of pigment.

They have a short body, and their legs are also short. It makes them stand out. Breviceps fuscus is a crawling frog that can be discovered in canals up to 150 mm down in-ground or in plants around 30 cm above the surface.

It usually avoids water and lives in canals or plants. Since it doesn’t need open water and is mostly active at night, the frog spends most of its time underground. The black rain frog comes out of its hole at night to look for food and to mate.

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Breviceps fuscus has several survival techniques to resist predators since they can’t leap or swim. It has the capacity to dig up to 20 cm underground (8 inches). As a protective tactic, they puff up to 7 times bigger.

When threatened, they expand with air to seem larger to fend off bush pigs, birds, and snakes. They may also trap themselves in their holes to avoid snakes from dragging them out.

Short, high-pitched squawks are their distress signal. They have muscular lumps. To a predator, these lumps seem toxic, although they are not harmful.

How Big Common Rain Frogs Can Get?

There are many types of rain frogs found in nature. Cape Rain Frog is the biggest and most commonly found on earth. 

Adults may reach a maximum length of 45 mm. Carl Linnaeus was the first person to provide a scientific description of an African frog species in 1758. 

Why Do Common Rain Frogs Scream?

Common rain frogs often scream to alarm or frighten off predators. Additionally, frogs may make scream-like distress, warning, mating, territorial, and rain sounds.

Some of the male rain frogs also scream at night to mate with females. The scream can be very loud and high-pitched compared to other frogs.

Do Rain Frogs Bite?

Most frog bites occur when owners attempt to feed their pets with their hands. Therefore, if you are trying to feed a frog and your finger goes too near, you can get bitten. Some species are more aggressive biters than others.

However, rain frogs are too tiny in size. They are not fierce like some other frog species. Normally you won’t get bitten by a rain frog. But it may scream in a high-pitch voice if it feels threatened.

Are Common Rain Frogs Territorial?

Common rain frogs are typically solitary. If there is plenty of prey, they will accept the presence of other frogs in their local neighborhood.

How Long Common Rain Frogs Live?

There are a lot of types of common rain frogs found in nature. Typically, rain frogs have a lifespan of 4-15 years depending on the environment they live in. Some of the popular pet rain frogs are desert rain frogs and black rain frogs.

The lifetime of the desert rain frog may be relatively extended, reaching up to 15 years. Nevertheless, the usual lifetime spans from 4 to 15 years.

The precise lifecycle of the South African Black rain frog is unknown. These frogs, however, are extremely similar to their cousins, desert rain frogs. As a result, we can say that black rain frogs may live for 2-15 years.

Is The Rain Frog Poisonous?

Common rain frog is not poisonous. When it feels threatened, the Desert Rain Frog lets out a scary roar, just like many other dangerous animals in Africa. But it doesn’t spread any toxic substance toward the predator.


Common rain frogs need a particular environment but are low care. It will need a substrate capable of holding water and keeping its shape.

These frogs are very small and don’t need any fancy diet as well. Some popular rain frogs are Desert rain frog, Cape rain frog, Black rain frog, etc. These little creatures are not poisonous and live up to 15 years with minimal maintenance.

If you want to keep a Rain Frog as a pet, you should know that these frogs like to dig holes. They can’t jump or climb, so they’d rather have room to move around in a linear tank than a lateral one. They also won’t climb branches or trees.

To fulfill the rain frog’s need to burrow, cover the bottom of its enclosure with a material that holds water and doesn’t break down.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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