AmphibiaWeb - Hyperolius balfouri


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Hyperolius balfouri (Werner, 1908)
family: Hyperoliidae
genus: Hyperolius
Hyperolius balfouri
© 2014 Daniel Portik (1 of 19)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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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.

This form is very similar in appearance and habitat preference to the western H. concolor and to the Central African H. kivuensis. Its range overlaps both, however, without signs of hybridisation. H. balfouri differs from H. concolor in the colour of the females (uniform green in H. concolor) and by the conspicuous middorsal stripe in areas where the two overlap. For differences between H. balfouri and H. kivuensis, see the latter.

The western populations from Cameroun often have a conspicuous dark middorsal stripe, a feature only seen on a few of the eastern specimens. The Cameronese form is normally termed H. b. viridistriatus Monard 1951 while the eastern form from eastern R. D. Congo, south-western Ethiopia and Uganda, is termed H. b. balfouri. If there is a gradual transition between them in the unexplored areas in between, there is hardly any reason to maintain the subspecies.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda

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From the savanna of Cameroun to Uganda and south-western Ethiopia.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The call of both subspecies is similar to those of H. kivuensis and H. concolor but with deeper, coarse, slow, unmelodic croaks.

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


Schiøtz, A. (1999). Treefrogs of Africa. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main.

Originally submitted by: Arne Schiøtz (first posted 2001-01-10)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2008-09-10)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Hyperolius balfouri <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 17, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 17 Jun 2024.

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