AmphibiaWeb - Afrixalus aureus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Afrixalus aureus Pickersgill, 1984
Golden Dwarf Reed Frog, Golden Spiny Reed Frog, Umgqagqa oyigolide (Zulu)
family: Hyperoliidae
genus: Afrixalus
Species Description: Pickersgill, M. (1984). Three new Afrixalus (Anura: Hyperoliidae) from south-eastern Africa. Durban Museum Novitates 13: 203–220.
Taxonomic Notes: Pickersgill (1984, Durban Museum Novitates) recognized two subspecies of A. aureus: A. a. aureus and A. a. crotalus. More recently, these have been treated as distinct species by authors such as DuPreez & Carruthers (2017, Frogs of Southern Africa, A Complete Guide), Channing & Rödel (2019, Field Guide to the Frogs & Other Amphibians of Africa), and Lawson et al. (2018, Herpetology Notes). Neither A. aureus or A. crotalus have been included in recent phylogenetic analyses of Afrixalus (e.g., Greenbaum et al., 2022, Zootaxa; Charles et al., 2019, Journal of Biogeography), though the unpublished thesis by Reeder (2019; North-West University) found A. aureus to be sister to A. delicatus.

© 2008 Vincenzo Mercurio (1 of 1)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (2 records).

A slender, small Afrixalus frog (males 17–24 mm, females 19–26 mm) with fine, dense asperities over the entire upper surfaces and in the gular region in males, confined to the head in females. The gular disc is large, squarish to semitriangular, and weakly granular. Bright golden yellow above with a brown lateral band with light speckles. Often a pair of lumbar patches which continues the broad, oblique tibial markings when legs are at rest. Sometimes a weak vertebral line and a broad, poorly defined triangular headspot.

Pickersgill (2007) divided this species into two subspecies of which the above description refers to the nominate form, Afrixalus aureus aureus. See further about A. a. crotalus on its species account.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (2 records).
Occurs in eastern South Africa in savanna habitat (Pickersgill 2007).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The voice is a series of clicks, about 13-17 per second (Pickersgill 2007).

Eggs are white and deposited in a folded, glued leaf above the water (Schiøtz 1999).

Updated by A. Schiøtz, 2008.


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]

Pickersgill, M. (2007). Frog Search: Results of Expeditions to Southern and Eastern Africa. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main.

Schiøtz, A. (1999). Treefrogs of Africa. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main.

Originally submitted by: Arne Schiøtz (first posted 2001-01-01)
Description by: Michelle S. Koo (updated 2023-11-10)

Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Michelle S. Koo (2023-11-10)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Afrixalus aureus: Golden Dwarf Reed Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 5, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 5 Dec 2023.

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