AmphibiaWeb - Hyperolius pickersgilli


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Hyperolius pickersgilli Raw, 1982
Umgqagqa ka-Pickersgill (Zulu)
family: Hyperoliidae
genus: Hyperolius
Species Description: Raw, L. R. G. (1982). A new species of reed frog (Amphibia: Hyperoliidae) from the coastal lowlands of Natal, South Africa. Durban Museum Novitates 13: 117–126.
Hyperolius pickersgilli
© 2004 Robert C. Drewes (1 of 1)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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A Hyperolius from coastal KwaZulu-Natal; males are small (to 22 mm), females to 29 mm. Phase J: light to dark brown with a dark-edged silverish canthal and dorsolateral stripe, sometimes brown with dark spots and with a light spot on the heel, thus almost indistinguishable from H. mitchelli from further north. Phase F: dorsum brilliant green separated from the light yellow to white ventrum by a distinctive irregular margin. Sometimes with a light lateral line. Ventrum off-white and smooth, concealed surfaces of limbs, feet and digits pale or colourless. Pupil horizontal.

Tooth formula of tadpole 1/1+1,2.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: South Africa

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Coastal lowlands in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males call from elevated positions in dense vegetation, often Cyperus, and remain well-concealed. The voice is a very soft cricket-like chirp repeated at irregular intervals with a frequency-intensity maximum at 3000 cps.

The eggs are apparently placed above water. The jelly is clear and the eggs have a brown and white pole.

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.

Featured in Amazing Amphibians on 30 December 2013


Phaka, F.M., Netherlands, E.C., Kruger, D.J.D., Du Preez, L.H. (2019). Folk taxonomy and indigenous names for frogs in Zululand, South Africa. J Ethnobiology Ethnomedicine 15, 17. [link]

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 (2023-05-31)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Hyperolius pickersgilli: Umgqagqa ka-Pickersgill (Zulu) <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 20, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 20 Jul 2024.

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