AmphibiaWeb - Hyperolius mitchelli


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Hyperolius mitchelli Loveridge, 1953
Mitchell's Reed Frog
family: Hyperoliidae
genus: Hyperolius
Hyperolius mitchelli
© 2009 Frank Teigler (1 of 32)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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A medium sized Hyperolius (males 23-27 mm, females 25-32 mm) from the eastern forests. Voice a scream. Phase F with a light dorsolateral line and white spots on heels and sometimes a spot around the anus. The males have a gular flap similar to that of H. puncticulatus. Both males and females have fine dorsal asperities. Pupil horizontal.

Phase J has a brownish dorsum with diffuse darker spots, Ventral surfaces yellow to orange. Phase F: Dorsum darker or lighter brown with diffuse darker spots. A broad, black-edged silverish canthal and dorsolateral line is always present from tip of snout almost to groin. A spot of the same colour is present on the heel. Ventrum yellow to orange.

The relationship with the similar, sympatric H. puncticulatus is mentioned under that species.

Distribution and Habitat

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

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (4 records).
Forest and bushland localities in the eastern lowlands from north-eastern Tanzania to Mozambique.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The call is an irregular series of screams. The single figure has a duration of more than 0.5 sec and an indistinct frequency-intensity maximum at about 3500 cps.

Eggs are laid on leaves overhanging the water in clutches of 50-100. The tadpole has papillae on the rostrum and a complex of lingual papillae that form a dense filter at the front of the mouth (Channing et. al. 1987).

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 2001-01-29)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2008-09-10)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Hyperolius mitchelli: Mitchell's Reed Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 13, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Jun 2024.

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