AmphibiaWeb - Hyperolius raymondi


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Hyperolius raymondi Conradie, Branch & Tolley, 2013
Raymond's Reed Frog
family: Hyperoliidae
genus: Hyperolius
Species Description: Conradie W, Branch WR, Tolley KA 2013. Fifty shades of grey: giving colour to the poorly known Angolan Ashy reed frog (Hyperoliidae: Hyperolius cinereus), with the description of a new species. Zootaxa 3635: 201-223.

© 2013 Werner Conradie (1 of 4)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None



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Hyperolius raymondi is a cryptic frog species that is part of the most species-rich African amphibian genus Hyperolius. It has a maximum male snout vent length of 22.6 mm with a median of 19.8 mm, and a maximum snout vent length of 22.7 mm for females. Its head is narrower than its trunk and is slightly wider than it is long (a ratio of 0.9), but the midbody is the widest part. The snout is round and long but appears blunt from the dorsal view and slightly projects beyond its lower jaw, which is wider than long. Hyperolius raymondi has a distinct and round canthus rostralis. The loreal region is slightly concave and slightly vertical. The nares are dorsolateral and are closer to the tip of the snout than the eye; the distance between the nares is about the same as the distance from the eye to the nostril. The anterolaterally directed eyes protrude and are relatively small when compared to the head length, and the eye diameter is shorter than the snout. The distance between the orbitals is greater than the internarial distance. This species does not have a supratympanic fold and its tympanum cannot be seen externally. This species has one vocal sac. The gular flap has two subcircular thickened skin areas that are next to each other; the cream-colored anterior part is larger and more granular than the white-colored posterior part that is thicker. When resting, the gular flap is the only anterior part that is visible from the belly side. This species has a smooth surface on the dorsal surfaces of its head, trunk, and limbs, as well as the ventral surface of its limbs and its gular. In contrast, its chin and abdomen are grainier. The forelimbs are slender and the hands are quite large. The relative finger lengths are: 1 < 2 < 4 < 3. The tips of fingers are enlarged into broad oval disks with circummarginal groups. The subarticular tubercles are round and well-developed; fingers 1 and 2 each have one tubercal, while fingers 3 and 4 each have two, but the proximal tubercle on finger 4 is hardly discernible. There is minimal webbing between fingers. Inner and outer metacarptal tubercles, palmar tubercles, nupital pads, and asperities are all absent. The hind limbs are slender and are fairly long. The tibio-tarsal articulation reaches the posterior level of the eye when the legs are pressed against the body. The relative toe lengths are: 1 < 2 < 3 < 4. There are discs on the toes but they are smaller than the ones on the fingers. The toes have subarticular tubercles: one on toes 1 and 2, two on toes 3 and 5, and three on toe 4. There is minimal webbing in the feet. The inner metatarsals are small and clear, but the outer metatarsal tubercle is absent (Conradie et al. 2013).

The tadpole is round and oval-shaped, with its body a little wider than high (body height to body width ratio is 0.8). From the lateral view, the tadpole’s snout is slanted and its mouth is near its underside. Its nares are round and are located closer to the snout than the eyes. Its lateral eyes are a fair size and have a slightly upward directed oval opening at the same height as the middle of the lower part of the caudal muscle. The ratio of the tail length to its body length is around 2:1, and is two-thirds of the total length. The tail muscles are broad but gradually taper so that the tip is slightly pointed. The tail fins are located midway down the tail, and the upper fin does not extend onto the body but is slightly convex at the end of the tail, as is the lower fin. Its body is dark brown with random scattered dark spots. The ventrum is paler than the dark dorsum, but has scattered darker pigmentation. The tail muscles have more pigments than the fins. There are three distinct darker pigmented stripes that run from the front part of the tail muscle to about midway in the tail. The fins are semitransparent and have uneven spots (Conradie et al. 2013).

All Hyperolius are characterized by horizontal pupils, expanded and rounded terminal discs on the fingers and toes, hidden tympanum, smooth skin, and males having one vocal sac with an oval gular flap and free lateral and posterior margins. Hyperolius raymondi can be differentiated from other Hyperolius species by comparing its traits to the distinguishable traits of other Hyperolius. First, the throat of H. raymondi does not have any spines. Secondly, its color can vary from other Hyperolius taxa (also see coloration section below); its ventrum side is a uniform yellow color without darker pigmentation, it does not have a pale triangle on its snout, its green belly skin is not translucent, and there is no light in its heel spot. The dorsalateral stripes vary (also see variation section below) since there are two stripes present that are darker in color than its background, and there is no lighter stripe below the dark dorsolateral band. There is a uniform green coloration in the darker bands that is not present in other Hyperolius taxa (Conradie et al. 2013).

While alive, H. raymondi has a dorsum that is lime green with each side displaying two distinct dark dorsolateral stripes. The lower stripe extends from the tip of the snout to the groin, passing by the eye and the upper stripe starts in the anterior corner of the eyelid, extends toward the back and almost merges with lower stripe. Black spots that vary in size appear on the lower back by the upper stripes. These stripes and spots are sexually dimorphic since only the males display them and not the females. The ventrum and the ventral surfaces of the limbs are yellow and do not have markings on them. The fingertips and toe tips are yellow. The inner thighs are red, and the upper thighs and forearms are light green with dispersed black markings that the palms of the hands and soles of the feet also have. The iris is bright yellow. In preservative, the ventrum fades and is light beige instead of yellow. The dorsum is ashy-blue with a pair of black dorsolateral stripes (Conradie et al. 2013).

All male paratypes have similar ventral and dorsal coloration, but there is individual variation in the stripes on its backside. The only female found is similar in color of the H. cinereus, with a blue-green dorsum, yellow belly, and red inner thighs. The two collected juveniles were bicolored, with darker side markings on the snout (Conradie et al. 2013).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Angola


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
The species was first discovered in the Dundo area of Angola, and two more localities were found further south in Lunda Norte Province also of Angola at 154 meters above sea level. The species is believed to be endemic to Angola, but it may be found near the Democratic Republic of the Congo and northwest Zambia (Conradie et al. 2013).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The call of H. raymondi is expressed as two to three successive notes that are composed of a single pulse with a length of 23.0 ± 4.0 ms. The frequencies ranges from 3688 to 4063 Hz. This species can be found in grass-covered, shallow wetlands in flood plains. This species either calls from within the wetlands along the edge of a large pool or from a high elevation on the reeds and grass (Conradie et al. 2013).

Trends and Threats
There are currently only three localities from which this species are known; thus it is difficult to say with certainty what the threats and trends are. Habitat destruction due to alluvial diamond mining poses a potential threat (Conradie et al. 2013)

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss

The species authority is Conradie, W, Branch, W.R., Tolley, K.A. 2013. Fifty shades of grey: giving colour to the poorly known Angolan Ashy reed frog (Hyperoliidae: Hyperolius cinereus), with the description of a new species. Zootaxa 3635: 201-223.

Phylogenetically, it is a sister to H. cinereus, differing by 3.7% sequence divergence (Conradie et al. 2013).

This species is named after Raymond F. Laurent, who was the first one to record H. raymondi. Previously, it was known as H. cinereus (Conradie et al. 2013).


Conradie, W., Branch, W.R., Tolley, K.A. (2013). ''Fifty Shades of Grey: giving colour to the poorly known Angolan Ashy reed frog (Hyperoliidae: Hyperolius cinereus), with the description of a new species.'' Zootaxa, 3635(3), 201-223.

Originally submitted by: Samantha Morco (first posted 2013-11-06)
Edited by: Ann T Chang (2013-11-07)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2013 Hyperolius raymondi: Raymond's Reed Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 20, 2024.

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

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