This species is only known from the type locality on Mount Nimba, at 700 m Asl, in northeastern Liberia (Rödel et al. 2010). It is likely that it may occur more widely, in nearby Ivory Coast and Guinea (Rödel et al. 2010).
Habitat and Ecology
Nothing is known about the natural history of this species. The habitat type is unknown, but it might be found in moist rainforest (J. Penner pers. comm. June 2012). It is suspected to breed in water by larval development based on reproduction in congeners.
It is known only from the holotype, collected in 1969 (Rödel et al. 2010). The fact that it was the only individual of its species present in a collection of hundreds of Phrynobatrachus specimens collected at Mount Nimba suggests that it may be a rare or cryptic species (Rödel et al. 2010). Its cryptic nature is further supported by the lack of records despite many general and targeted surveys at the type locality, and surveys on the Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire sides of the mountain since the 1940s to the present (L. Sandberger pers. comm. July 2016). As it was found in mid-altitude it may be present at other similar sites that have not yet been surveyed, however further studies are required (M.-O. Rödel pers. comm. March 2017). Its population trend is unknown.
The type locality is next to the road leading to open-cast mining concessions on Nimba that was mined from the 1960s to the 1990s; mining remains a potential threat due to continued interest in the area's resources. Pressure on the forest at lower elevations on Mount Nimba is ongoing due to the expansion of agricultural activities.
No conservation actions are currently known for this species.
More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, natural history and threats.
Red List Status
Data Deficient (DD)
Listed as Data Deficient since it has only been described in 2010, and there is still very little information on its distribution, status, threats and ecological requirements. However, should future work indicate that it is a forest specialist (a habitat which is under significant human pressure) with a restricted distribution, this species may qualify to be reassessed in a Threatened category.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Phrynobatrachus hieroglyphicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T16179556A16179559. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T16179556A16179559.en .Downloaded on 22 January 2019