AmphibiaWeb - Hyperolius phantasticus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Hyperolius phantasticus (Boulenger, 1899)
family: Hyperoliidae
genus: Hyperolius
Hyperolius phantasticus
© 2008 Arne Schiotz (1 of 7)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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A large Hyperolius (27–37 mm) from the central forest. Phase J: dorsum delicate greyish or yellowish green, with or without a fine pale yellow dorsolateral stripe; ventrum without heavy grey pigmentation, underside of limbs suffused with yellow or orange, gular flap sometimes tinged with green. A sample I collected in central R. D. Congo has ventrum bright green, except medially where it is yellow. Discs bright yellow. Throat of calling male conspicuously green-blue. Phase F: dorsum pale fawn to rich orange-brown, sometimes sprinkled with bright yellow spots. Ventrum and sometimes limbs more or less extensively pigmented with pale grey to deep black. Underside of limbs and sometimes gular flap suffused with bright pink. Throat of males orange. Pupil horizontal.

In body proportions, habitat preference and voice H. phantasticus seems similar to the western H. guttulatus, but its coloration is quite different and the gular flap is smaller in H. phantasticus. It is remarkable that the Cameronese populations of H. guttulatus sometimes have black spots on the ventrum similar to, although less extensive than H. phantasticus. A further difference is that H. phantasticus lacks the white fold posterior to the gular flap which is found in Cameronese populations of H. guttulatus. The two species have been taken together.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, Gabon

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Cameroun to R. D. Congo. Encountered in flooded coastal grassland, in central R. D. Congo in bushland localities.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The males call at some height above the surface of shallow pools, often in open meadows. The voice is a sonorous “hoin”. The call has a rather long duration and well-developed rising bands of harmonics.

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.

H. chabanaudi is a synonym for H. phantasticus (Lötters et al. 2001).

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


Lötters, S., Gossman, V., Obame, F., and Böhme, W. (2001). ''Zur Herpetofauna Gabuns. Teil 1: Einleitung, Untersuchungsgebiet und Methodik, kommentierte Artenliste der gefundenen Froschlurche. [The herpetofauna of Gabon. Part 1: Introduction, study area and methodology, annotated species list of recorded anurans.].'' Herpetofauna (Wiesenstadt), 23, 19-34.

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 phantasticus <> 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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