AmphibiaWeb - Afrixalus delicatus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Afrixalus delicatus Pickersgill, 1984
Delicate Spiny Reed Frog, Umgqagqa othambile (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.
Afrixalus delicatus
© 2008 Martin Pickersgill (1 of 8)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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A small, slender Afrixalus (males 15—22 mm, females 16-24 mm) from the savanna in eastern Africa. Dorsal asperities normally well developed over the entire upper surfaces in males, confined to the head in females. Ventral asperities are strongest anteriorly, or confined to chest and gular disc. Above silvery to yellow with a brown lateral band with a distinct lower margin and usually with light speckles, often aggregated along the middle of the band. At its most complete the pattern consists of a pair of irregular dark stripes from the sacrum, converging between the eyes as a headspot. Tibia is pale with a dark, oblique transverse band that bisects the pale area completely.

Distribution and Habitat

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

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (1 records).
Low altitude from Somalia till eastern South Africa, medium altitude in Malawi. Found as far north as Marere in Somalia, as well as on Zanzibar (IUCN 2006).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The voice is a long buzz with a duration of up to 22 seconds.

The tadpoles were described by Wager (1985) as A. b. brachycnemis. The eggs are deposited on leaves which are glued together, either above or just below the surface of the water. Up to three males may participate in egg-laying. The tadpoles are streamlined with a tooth formula of 0/0.

Afrixalus delicatus as referred to here, consists of Schiotz's (1999) combined treatment of A. delicatus and A. brachycnemis.

Updated by A. Schiøtz, 2008.


IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. (2006). Global Amphibian Assessment: Afrixalus delicatus. Accessed on 28 September 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.

Wager, V. A. (1985). The Frogs of South Africa. Purnell and Sons, Cape Town, South Africa.

Originally submitted by: Arne Schiøtz (first posted 2001-01-01)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2023-05-31)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Afrixalus delicatus: Delicate Spiny Reed Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 15, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 15 Jun 2024.

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