AmphibiaWeb - Hyperolius lateralis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Hyperolius lateralis Laurent, 1940
family: Hyperoliidae
genus: Hyperolius
Hyperolius lateralis
© 2011 Iris Starnberger (1 of 12)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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A medium to small Hyperolius (males 18–26, females 21–29) from bushland in central Africa. Very variable, often with yellow lateral band. Pupil horizontal. Voice a scream.

Colour is very variable between populations. In general:
Phase J. Dorsum translucent brownish-green with a darker, diffuse canthal streak. A faint thin light dorsolateral line often present. Ventrum dark reddish, feet red.
Phase F. Dorsum dense green. A broad irregular white to yellow black-edged lateral stripe, often split up into spots, is present in some populations, absent in others.
A few specimens have yellow spots on dorsum. Ventrum dark red, feet red. Throat of males yellow.

Laurent has described 11 subspecies within a very restricted range in Rwanda, Burundi and eastern Kivu. I have more than doubled the range into Uganda, north-western Tanzania and western Kenya, and my samples present as much variation as Laurent’s. This variation does not seem to resolve itself into recognisable clines and I feel therefore that the complex is, with our present knowledge, best treated as one monotypic but very variable species. Some populations of H. lateralis are very similar to H. cinnamomeoventris. H. lateralis is generally smaller, has a briefer snout and less conspicuous pattern. The voices are quite different. The similarity to H. castaneus is mentioned under that species.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Burundi, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, United Republic of, Uganda

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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The call is a succession of brief screams. The single scream has an frequency-intensity maximum at 3000–3500 cps.

This species shows developmental changes in patterning, with two phases, J (juveniles and many mature males) and F (mature females and some mature males). All newly metamorphosed individuals are phase J, which is normally brownish to green with paired light dorsolateral lines, or an hourglass pattern. All females, and some males, develop into phase F before the first breeding season. Phase F is often colorful and variable, showing the diagnostic color characteristics for the species or subspecies. Either well-defined morphs may be present, or graded variation.

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 2001-01-17)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2008-09-10)

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

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

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