AmphibiaWeb - Hyperolius tuberilinguis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Hyperolius tuberilinguis Smith, 1849
Tinker Reed Frog, Umgqagqa oluhlaza okotshania (Zulu)
family: Hyperoliidae
genus: Hyperolius
Species Description: Smith, A. (1849). Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa; Consisting Chiefly of Figures and Descriptions of the Objects of Natural History Collected during an Expedition into the Interior of South Africa, in the Years 1834, 1835, and 1836 .... Vol. III. Reptilia. Appendix. London: Smith, Elder, & Co.
Hyperolius tuberilinguis
© 2011 Martin Pickersgill (1 of 18)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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A rather large Hyperolius (males 25-33 mm, females 30-35 mm) from the eastern lowlands of Africa with a long snout. Pupil horizontal. Dorsum uniform green or yellowish with an indistinct hourglass pattern. The southern populations especially can be separated into a phase J, straw-coloured with hourglass-pattern, and a uniform light tan to lemon yellow or light green phase F.

Although lacking distinctive characters adult H. tuberilinguis are easily recognisable among the east African lowland fauna by their pointed snout. H. tuberilinguis is quite similar to H. kivuensis, met further inland in eastern Africa, but the latter has a more pointed snout and a conspicuous dark lateral band. There is a great similarity in morphology, voice and "general appearance" between H. concolor, H. balfouri, H. kivuensis and H. tuberilinguis. They can be regarded as members of the same superspecies (Schiøtz 1975).

The tadpole reaches a length of up to 46 mm (14+32) with a tooth formula of 1/3. It is brown with golden and bronze spots on the light underside.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, United Republic of, Zimbabwe

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (8 records).
Savanna localities, often rather dense wooded savanna in the eastern lowlands.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The call is a series of slow, coarse creaks, sometimes two in rapid succession.

Eggs are white surrounded by a clear jelly, and are placed out of water.

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.


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 tuberilinguis: Tinker Reed Frog <> 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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