Tandy’s Sand Frog (Tomopterna tandyi)

View the above photo record (by Zenobia van Dyk) in FrogMAP here.

Find the Tandy’s Sand Frog in the FBIS database (Freshwater Biodiversity Information System) here.

Family Pyxicephalidae

TANDY’S SAND FROG – Tomopterna tandyi

Channing and Bogart, 1996


T. tandyi inhabits loose, sandy soils. It occurs along small streams, pans and temporary rain pools, and is commonly associated with farm dams. It thrives in both arid and more mesic areas where annual rainfall is 50–>750 mm. Records are known from the Nama Karoo, Grassland and Savanna biomes.

Breeding habitat – Near Carnarvon, Northern Cape
Photo by Ryan Tippett


Little is known of the reproductive biology of this species. Males call from exposed positions at the edge of newly formed pools, but also from beneath vegetation in flooded areas. Tadpoles vary in colour according to the turbidity of the water in which they are found.

Predators of this species are not recorded

Tomopterna tandyi – Western Cape
Photo by Felicity Grundlingh

Status and Conservation

T. tandyi appears to be a widespread and common species that does not require conservation action. However, additional distribution data based on reliable diagnostic characters, such as advertisement calls, are needed to produce an accurate distribution map for this species.


This cryptic, tetraploid species is difficult to distinguish from T. cryptotis (see discussion in T. cryptotis species account). T. tandyi occurs in sympatry with T. delalandii at many localities, for example, Port Alfred (3326DB), and with T. cryptotis at, for example, Colesberg (3025CA).

On the basis of the few existing confirmed records (unpubl. data), T. tandyi appears to be distributed from the semi-arid Karoo region of South Africa northward into East Africa. It has been found from sea level to the inland plateau at >1800 m.

Distribution records, based on advertisement calls, were collected mainly in the southern parts of the atlas region by M. Burger and H.H. Braack. The distribution of this species in the northern and eastern parts of the atlas region is not well known as few verifiable records were collected by observers working in these areas. The distribution data shown on the map are therefore accurate, but incomplete.

Distribution of Tomopterna tandyi. Taken from the FrogMAP database as at February 2022.

Further Resources

Virtual Museum (FrogMAP > Search VM > By Scientific or Common Name)

More common names: Tandy se Sandpadda (Afrikaans)

Recommended citation format for this species text:

Channing A, Tippett RM. Tandy’s Sand Frog Tomopterna tandyi. BDI, Cape Town.
Available online at http://thebdi.org/2022/02/23/tandys-sand-frog-tomopterna-tandyi/

Recommended citation format: 

This species text has been updated and expanded from the text in the
2004 frog atlas. The reference to the text and the book are as follows:

Channing A 2004 Tomopterna tandyi Tandy’s Sand Frog. In Minter LR
et al 2004.

Minter LR, Burger M, Harrison JA, Braack HH, Bishop PJ, Kloepfer D (eds)
2004. Atlas and Red Data Book of  the Frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and
Swaziland. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, and Avian Demography
Unit, Cape Town.

Ryan Tippett
Ryan Tippett
Ryan is an enthusiastic contributor to Citizen Science and has added many important and interesting records of fauna and flora. He has been a member of the Virtual Museum since 2014 and has currently submitted over 12,000 records. He is on the expert identification panel for the OdonataMAP project. Ryan is a well-qualified and experienced Field Guide, and Guide Training Instructor. He has spent the last 18 years in the guiding and tourism industries. Ryan loves imparting his passion and knowledge onto others, and it is this that drew him into guide training in particular. Something that he finds incredibly rewarding is seeing how people he's had the privilege of teaching have developed and gone on to greater things. His interests are diverse and include Dragonflies, Birding, Arachnids, Amphibians, wild flowers and succulents, free diving and experiencing big game on foot. With this range of interests, there is always likely be something special just around the corner!