AMPHIBIAWEB
Hyperolius glandicolor
family: Hyperoliidae

© 2005 Michal Berec (1 of 8)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
CITES
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Kenya, Tanzania, United Republic of

 

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

   

From the Encyclopedia of Life account:

Taxonomic Notes

Hyperolius glandicolor is part of the Hyperolius viridiflavus superspecies which consists of around 45 ‘subspecies’ that all have similar calls, morphology and natural history, but differ in their dorsal patterns and tend not to co-occur. The taxonomy of the Hyperolius viridiflavus complex is still not well resolved. Harper et al. (2010) use the name H. glandicolor to refer to the form endemic to the Taita Hills and surrounding area.


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Size

Males are 30 – 33 mm in snout-vent length, and females are 30 – 33 mm (Harper et al., 2010).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Diagnostic Description

The reed frog is probably one of the most familiar amphibian species in the Taita Hills of Kenya. This species is distinctive due to its coloration and its smooth plastic-like shiny skin. Its toes and fingers end in discs which help the animal climb and stick to reeds and grasses. The insides of the legs and ends of the toes are often tinged pink or red. Males have two colour patterns, a normal brown and black with yellow reticulation, which is the pattern more typical of females (Text from Measey et al. 2009, © SANBI).

Females have a distinctive reticulate patterning of black on yellow, while males may take one of two forms, either female-like or a plain brown form. The ventrum in both sexes is pale, occasionally with red axial pigmentation (Text from Harper et al., 2010).


Authors: Zimkus, Breda; Bergmann, Travis
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Comparisons

This species can be confused with Leptopelis concolor and Chiromantis petersii. However, it is smaller than both these species and is the only one with black and yellow patterned females (Text from Measey et al. 2009, © SANBI).


Author: Bergmann, Travis
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Habitat and Ecology

It lives close to permanent water or temporary pools, although adults and juveniles can be found at some distance in forest and shambas alike (Text from Measey et al. 2009, © SANBI).

This species inhabits savannas, grasslands, and shrublands at elevations between 800 and 1800 m. It is typically found on vegetation at the edge of water bodies, including swamps, lakes and ponds (Harper et al., 2010).


Authors: Zimkus, Breda; Bergmann, Travis
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Activity and Special Behaviors

During the day these frogs are able to withstand full sun by sitting with their legs close to their bodies to minimise water loss and even turn a very pale colour to reflect the heat (Text from Measey et al. 2009, © SANBI).


Author: Bergmann, Travis
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Metamorphosis

The tadpoles develop over a period of weeks until the young metamorphs leave the water and move off into the surrounding area to grow (Text from Measey et al. 2009, © SANBI).


Author: Bergmann, Travis
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Advertisement Call

During evening hours or after rainfall they come alive, males sit close to the water on reeds or grasses, extend their large vocal sac and emit a very distinctive ‘bwoep’. When many males are singing in a chorus the noise can become almost deafening. Calling males are territorial and if another male comes too close they emit a distinctive warning ‘croak’ (Text from Measey et al. 2009, © SANBI).

Channing and Howell (2006) describe the call as a “brief click.”


Authors: Zimkus, Breda; Bergmann, Travis
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Reproduction

The reed frog breeds in both rainy seasons, and males can be heard calling throughout the year, especially after rain.

Females can be found in the surrounding area until they are ready to mate. They then move towards and select amongst calling males and once in amplexus move to lay their eggs in a cluster on leaves close to the water surface. The eggs develop out of the water and tadpoles finally drop into the water once hatched (Text from Measey et al. 2009, © SANBI).

Eggs are deposited on vegetation under water in ditches, puddles and permanent water bodies (Text from Harper et al., 2010).


Authors: Zimkus, Breda; Bergmann, Travis
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Phylogenetics

Wieczorec et al. (2001) analyzed the mitochondrial DNA of 24 of the 45 recognized subspecies. They concluded that of these 24,10 should be considered separate species, including H. glandicolor and H. goetzei. More work is needed to assess the status of the subspecies that were not included in Wieczorec et al. (2001).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/