Herpetology of Ethiopia and Eritrea


Hyperoliidae Laurent, 1943


Morphological characters for this group are: 1) nuptial pads absent; 2) posterolateral process of hyoid absent; 3) sternum cartilaginous; 4) dentomentalis muscle present; 5) pupil vertical in most.[Amphibiaweb.com]

Hyperolius viridiflavus (Duméril and Bibron, 1841)


Short description:
Throughout the tropical savanna of Africa, and abundantly present on suitable habitats there is always found a characteristic, conspicuous Hyperolius which, although highly variable, shows a number of common characters, most of them unique within the genus: high population density and exposed calling site; strictly savanna-living; a characteristic melodic voice, like small xylophones; a brief snout; very large shagreened gular flap and large dilatable vocal sac in males; transverse gular fold in females; extensive webbing; a large clutch of eggs, deposited in water; absence of external metatarsal tubercle; horizontal pupils.
Ethiopian forms:

Viridiflavus: Dorsum green with small rounded yellow to red spots, often with a black centre. Ethiopia, north-western Kenya. Largen (1998) has suggested that although samples from Kenya show the typical characters for this form they may be isolated from the Ethiopian populations (incl. the type locality), by a broad expanse of arid lowland, possibly unsuitable for this species.
Destefanii: Dorsum green to bluish green, unmarked or with small dark blue to black dots and freckles; posterior face of thigh iridescent pale blue to purple with blackish speckling, ventrum yellowish, sometimes speckled with grey or black. Largen (1998) brought attention to the existence of this distinct form. Low to moderate altitude on floor and eastern wall of Rift Valley, Ethiopia.

Distribution:
East Africa in eastern Dem. Rep. Congo west to north-east-central Central African Republic, Uganda, Tanzania, western Ethiopia almost to the Eritrea border, and southern Somalia, South Sudan, into extreme southern Sudan.

Behavior:
It is associated with emergent vegetation at the margins of swamps, rivers and lakes in all types of savannah, grassland, forest edge and bushland, as well as many human-modified habitats, including cultivated land, towns and gardens. It spreads rapidly into recently created waterbodies. It breeds in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, ranging from very small to very large ponds, usually using temporary, but often also in permanent, waterbodies. The eggs are deposited directly into the water.

Description original:
Duméril, A. M. C., and G. Bibron 1841: Erpétologie Genérale ou Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Volume 8.

Described as Eucnemis viridi-flavus

Common english name: Variable Reed Frog

Hyperolius viridiflavus - locality, Jimma, Amest kilo, Kaffa keflehager, Ethiopia



Hyperolius kivuensis Ahl, 1931


Short description:
A rather large Hyperolius (males 22–33 mm, females 33–39 mm) from the bushland and dense savanna in eastern Africa. Snout long and pointed. Dorsum uniform light to dark brown or green with a distinct dark lateral band. A light canthal and dorsolateral stripe often present in the brown specimens, rarely in the green-backed. Hidden parts of limbs reddish to yellow. Ventrum unpigmented in most populations, dusky dark in many populations in the Nile Basin. Dorsum usually without asperities. Pupil horizontal. H. kivuensis and H. balfouri are quite similar and have overlapping ranges. They differ in that H. balfouri is larger, with a different dorsal pattern and with small dorsal asperities in males. H. balfouri has a dark line on the snout above the canthus rostralis, while H. kivuensis has a dark line beneath the canthus rostralis.

Distribution:
A species from the dense savannas of south-western Ethiopia, western Kenya and southern Uganda to Angola, southern R. D. Congo and southern Zambia.

Behavior:
Its inhabit moist savanna, tropical forests, but also agricultural areas. Often is found in banana plantations. Reproduces in large ponds and marshes. The female lays eggs out of the water on the leaves of plants. The eggs are white with black spot. The jelly is milky. They feed insects.

Description original:
Ahl, E. 1931. Amphibia, Anura III, Polypedatidae. Das Tierreich 55: XVI + 477.

Common english name: Kivu Reed Frog




Hyperolius nasutus Günther, 1865

Hyperolius nasutus - Bedelle, Ethiopia
Hyperolius nasutus - Bedelle, Ethiopia

Short description:
A small, long, very slender, sharp-nosed savanna-living Hyperolius (19–24 mm). Dorsum translucent green, uniform or with diffuse darker spots. A light yellow dorsolateral and canthal stripe normally present in males, sometimes in females. Sometimes a fine middorsal line of chromatophores is present. Ventrum white; limbs, feet and discs green, or discs sometimes reddish. Pupil horizontal. The males are of the same size as the females which is unusual among Hyperolius. In some populations the females lack the light dorsolateral stripe, while it is present in others.

Distribution:
A common and widespread element in the savanna fauna, most noticeably in the more humid, dense savanna, from central West Africa (central Côte d’Ivoire) to East Africa and further south, and into the savanna of R. D. Congo and Angola. In Ethiopia western highlands at altitude about 1800 m asl. from south to Tana lake.

Behavior:
It inhabit reeds or grass on edges of swamps, on the banks of rivers and lakes in savanna or meadows, also around edges of forests. It breeds in periodical or permanents swamps, shallow ponds, wetlands, lakes ...etc. Females lays aprox. 150 - 200 eggs two times per season on submersed parts of plants.

Description:
Günther, A. C. L. G. 1865 "1864". Descriptions of new species of batrachians from West Africa. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1864: 479-482.

Common english name: Long Reed Frog

Hyperolius nasutus - locality, Bedelle, Kaffa keflehager, Ethiopia



Hyperolius balfouri (Werner, 1908)

Hyperolius balfouri - Gambella, Ethiopia
Hyperolius balfouri - Gambella, Ethiopia

Short description:
A rather large Hyperolius (males 28-34 mm, females 36-42 mm) with a long pointed snout. Both sexes with the same pattern: dorsum yellow to brown with thin dark dorsolateral stripes, in eastern populations normally only extending 2/3 down the body. Western populations (ssp. viridistriatus) with better developed, green dorsolateral lines and often with a dark middorsal line which is sometimes split into spots. Ventrum and throat white to orange. The males have a large, flat, somewhat shagreened gular flap and small asperities on the dorsum; the females are smooth and considerably larger than the males. Pupil horizontal.

Distribution:
Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda. In Ethiopia southwest.

Description original:
Werner, F: Ergebnisse der mit Subvention aus der Erbschaft Treitl unternommenen zoologischen Forschungsreise Dr. Franz Werners nach dem agyptischen Sudan und Nord-Uganda. XII. Die Reptilien und Amphibien.

Described as Rappia balfouri

Common english name: Balfour´s Reed Frog























































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