Mertensophryne loveridgei
family: Bufonidae
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

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


View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.


From the Encyclopedia of Life account:


This species is named for Arthur Loveridge (1891-1980), a British biologist and herpetologist that served as curator of amphibians and reptiles at the Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard University).

Author: Zimkus, Breda


The following is from the description of the type material by Poynton (1991):

Two phalanges of third toe free of main webbing, although edge of web very serrated, making determination imprecise. Outer metatarsal tubercle rounded, 0.75 or less length of inner. Adult dorsal skin (known only from females) densely covered with light-tipped spines which surmount small, warty bases; larger warts over lateral and urostylar areas and on dorsal surfaces of legs have rosettes of spines, otherwise the spines are single. Dense covering of minute conical asperities conspicuous on the lip of the vent, even in immature specimens of both sexes.

Markings (in alcohol): top of head, parotid glands and central region of back a light brown; darker brown laterally. A dark middorsal V-shaped marking in the scapular region, apex pointing anteriorly, arms usually continuing posteriorly to mark the inner margins of the parotid glands. Also a thin, often broken, dark interocular bar, and a pair of darker sacral spots. A fine light line overlying the urostyle. Dorsal markings are faintly shown in the holotype; the paratypes show the sacral, scapular, and interocular markings more clearly. Ventral surface immaculate or with a single, elongated dark fleck in the anterior pectoral region. There are no regular ventral markings, nor the freckling typical of S. anotis.

Author: Zimkus, Breda


Dimensions of holotype from Poynton (1991): body length from tip of snout to tip of urostyle 37.8 mm, body length from snout to vent 41.8 mm (specimen well hydrated), width of head 14.3 mm, length of tibia (folded) 14.9 mm, length of foot (including metatarsal tubercle) 13.9 mm. BM paratype 1969.1494 has a snout- urostyle length of 38.4 mm, head width of 13.6 mm; the remaining BM paratypes have a snout-urostyle length ranging from 26.9 mm to 31.2 mm. The MCZ paratype from Kilwa has a snout-urostyle length of 32.2 mm, head width of 12.6 mm.

Snout- urostyle lengths of additional material examined as part of the original description by Poynton (1991): Liwale 24.1- 29.5 mm, Hondo Plateau 30.4 mm, Kiwengoma Forest Heserve 34.3-35.0 mm. Males measure up to 35 mm and females 38 mm in snout-vent length (Harper et al., 2010).

Author: Zimkus, Breda

Diagnostic Description

The following is from the original description by Poynton (1991):

Diagnosis. Closely resembling Stephopaedes anotis (Boulenger, 1907), but differing therefrom in the reduced webbing (two phalanges of third toe free in loveridgei, one free in anotis ); relatively smaller outer metatarsal tubercle (0.75 or less length of inner metatarsal tubercle in loveridgei, more than 0.75 length in anotis). Adult dorsal skin (at least of females) more spinose than in anotis, e.g., > 45 spines on upper eyelid of loveridgei < 35 in anotis ), clear rosettes of spines on upper
surfaces of hind limbs of loveridgei, although weakly developed in the Kiwengoma Forest Reserve specimens (not developed in anotis). Covering of minute spines on lip of vent more strongly developed than in anotis. Dorsal markings usually strongly defined in loveridgei (weakly or not shown in anolis), while ventral markings are very reduced or absent (ventral freckling nearly always well developed over pectoral region in anotis).

The dorsum is dark brown with a darker brown chevron and is covered in small spines. There is often a thin light middorsal stripe. The tympanum is not visible. The ventral surface is light, sometimes with a dark blotch on the chest. Toes are partially webbed (Text from Harper et al., 2010).

Author: Zimkus, Breda


It is similar to other species in the genus. Like M. uzunguensis, there is a dark spot on the chest, but M. loveridgei does not occur in the high elevation grasslands where M. uzunguensis is found. M. loveridgei can be distinguished from other species in the genus by its wide parotid gland that extends from behind the eye down to the corner of the mouth (Text from Harper et al., 2010).

Author: Zimkus, Breda

Habitat and Ecology

It is found in coastal forests and woodlands at elevations up to 1000 m (Harper et al., 2010).

Author: Zimkus, Breda