AmphibiaWeb - Afrixalus dorsalis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Afrixalus dorsalis (Peters, 1875)
Striped Spiny Reed Frog
family: Hyperoliidae
genus: Afrixalus
Afrixalus dorsalis
© 2008 Arne Schiotz (1 of 19)

sound file   hear call (331.0K MP3 file)
sound file   hear call (3638.6K WAV file)

[call details here]

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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A medium-sized Afrixalus (males 25–28 mm, females 26–29 mm) from bushland localities in West Africa and the coastal regions of Cameroun to coastal Angola. Dorsum dark with a pattern in silverish white, normally consisting of a triangle on top of the snout continuing into a broad dorsolateral stripe to the groin. A light spot in the lumbar region, sometimes confluent with the dorsolateral stripes, and two light spots on tibia, or tibia uniformly light. Although normally constant in pattern, individuals in some populations can vary considerably, e.g. having a light middorsal stripe or even a uniform light dorsum.

Two very similar subspecies are recognised. They are:
A.d. dorsalis from Sierra Leone to southern Cameroun. Tibia with two light spots.
A. d. regularis Laurent 1951 or A. d. leptosomus (Peters 1877) with a light upper side of tibia. Rio Muni to coastal Angola. It is disputed whether the name leptosomus is rather applicable to a member of the fulvovittatus group.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (45 records).
Afrixalus dorsalis is widely distributed and common in bushland localities in the West African forest belt and in forest outliers in the humid savanna. The farthest west I have found it is in eastern Sierra Leone, while apparently suitable localities further west had populations of A. fulvovittatus instead. Towards the east it is recorded commonly from coastal Cameroun to coastal Angola.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

The voice consists of an initial sound followed by a number of figures, about 12 per second with a frequency-intensity maximum at 3800–4100 cps.

The eggs are white, surrounded by clear jelly. They are deposited in small clumps on leaves which are then folded and glued together. The tadpoles are streamlined with a terminal mouth and a tooth formula of 0/1.

This account was taken from "Treefrogs of Africa" by Arne Schiøtz with kind permission from Edition Chimaira publishers, Frankfurt am Main. Updated by A. Schiøtz, 2008.

Originally submitted by: Arne Schiøtz (first posted 2000-12-25)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2008-09-30)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Afrixalus dorsalis: Striped Spiny Reed Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 16, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 16 Jul 2024.

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