AmphibiaWeb - Trichobatrachus robustus
Trichobatrachus robustus
Hairy Frog
family: Arthroleptidae

© 2014 Daniel Portik (1 of 37)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (25 records).

Syntypes: BMNH, 2 specimens: one male, one female, “Benito River”, Equatorial Guinea (Boulenger 1900).

Snout to vent length of approximately 110 mm; large head (broader than long); short rounded snout; nostril is somewhat nearer the eye than the tip of the snout; vertical pupils; notched tongue; two rows of vomerine teeth located between relatively large choanae; distinct tympanum that is approximately half the diameter of the eye; webbed pedal digits; bound lateral metatarsals; omosternum has a bony style; sternum is a cartilaginous plate lacking a style; simple terminal phalanges; subarticular tubercles are large; olive brown dorsally, with dark black bands between the eyes and on the dorsum.

The males of this species are much larger than the females. The males have a paired internal vocal sac and three short ridges (two longitudinal and one transverse) of small black spines along the inner surface of the first manual digit. There is a narrow posterior diverticulum of the lung that apparently occurs only in males. The male also has dermal papillae extending along the lateral surfaces of the body and proximal hindlimbs (Boulenger 1900; Noble 1925; Perret 1966)

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (25 records).
Trichobatrachus robustus is known from Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria. In 1998, it was collected in Southwest Cameroon by the ALSCO Biodiversity Conservation Initiative (Herrmann and Herrmann 2002).

Trichobatrachus robustus is thought to be terrestrial, returning to the water for breeding. Stomach contents have included slugs, myriapods, spiders, beetles, and grasshoppers.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Egg masses are laid on rocks in streams. The tadpoles of this species are reported to be quite muscular. They are carnivorous and their mouths contain several rows of cornified teeth.

Noble (1925) hypothesized that the dermal papillae of the males increased the effective surface for respiration. Noble (1925) proposed that T. robustus males needed an enlarged respiratory surface due to possessing small lungs and a robust body.

Trends and Threats
The status of this species is unknown.


Boulenger, G. A. (1900). ''A list of the batrachians and the reptiles of the Gaboon (French Congo) with descriptions of new genera and species.'' Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1900, 443-456.

Hermann, H.-W., and Herrmann, P.A. (2002). ''Herpetological conservation at the Cologne Zoo.'' Herpetological Review, 33(3), 168-169.

Noble, G. K. (1925). ''The integumentary, pulmonary, and cardiac modifications correlated with increased cutaneous respiration in the Amphibia: a solution of the 'hairy frog' problem.'' Journal of Morphology and Physiology, 40(2), 341-416.

Perret, J.-L. (1966). ''Les amphibiens du Cameroun.'' Zoologische Jahrbücher für Systematik, 8, 289-464.

Originally submitted by: David C. Blackburn (first posted 2002-11-14)
Description by: Michelle S. Koo (updated 2021-03-17)

Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2021-03-17)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Trichobatrachus robustus: Hairy Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 2, 2021.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 2 Dec 2021.

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