A small and slender ranid frog, appearing somewhat dainty, with a very pointed snout and long legs. Males reach 33–35 mm (SVL), females 41–43 mm. The length of the head slightly surpasses its width. The nostrils are situated closer to the snout tip than to the eyes. The tympanum diameter almost equals that of the eye. Males have paired lateral vocal sacs whose slits start below the corner of the mouth and end beneath the base of the forearm. The first pair of dorsal ridges emerge between the eyes and extend to the sacral vertebrae. A shorter pair starts between these ridges on the last quarter of the back and ends at the vent. The second pair of dorsal ridges run from the posterior borders of the eyes to the groin. The dorsolateral ridge ends just in front of the groin. Starting below the tympanum, a fold runs to the groin. The skin between the dorsal ridges is granulated. In this area some enlarged warts may be present, in particular on adult animals. Also, large flat warts are scattered on the flanks, particularly in the region behind the tympanum. Fine ridges are present on the thighs and shanks, too. The thighs measure 0.76 of the SVL, the shank reach 0.6 and the foot, incl. the longest toe, measures 0.84 of the SVL. A smaller inner and an outer metatarsal tubercle are clearly visible. Additional subdigital tubercles are usually, yet not invariably, found on the bases of the second to fourth toes. Webbing formula: 1 (1) or (0.75), 2i/e (1.5–0.75) or (1–0,5); 3 i/e (2–1) or (1.5–0.5); 4 i/e (2); 5 (0.5) or (0) (Guibé & Lamotte 1955c, 1957, Perret 1991a).
Voucher specimens: SMNS one male + tadpoles without number.
Coloration: The dark dorsal color contrasts with the light vertebral band starting at the snout and also with the lighter flanks. The upper lip is white. The dark canthal line stretches beyond the tympanum to the flanks, becoming somewhat thinner in its final section. Black spots are present on the dorsal ridges. The dorsolateral ridges are white to light red. The lateral ridge is white. Extremities with dark bars. Each thigh bears three to five of these markings which may be broader than the intervening gaps. The bars on the shanks are separated by a light median line: five bars appear on the inner part, and three on the outer one. According to Perret (1991a), both sides of the shank bear four dark patches, separated by broader gaps. The outer part of the foot bears dark patches. A light longitudinal line with dark borders runs along the outer part of the thigh. A large part of the anal region is colored yellow. This pattern is particularly distinct on young frogs, whereas adult individuals turn darker (Guibé & Lamotte 1955c, 1957).
Voice: The main characteristics of calls recorded in Comoé National Park are: duration 1.5 sec, dominant frequency 4.3 kHz, fundamental frequency 2.0 kHz, pulse duration 18 ms, interval between pulses 15 ms. The call, described by Amiet (1974b), is actually that of P. stenocephala. Schiøtz (1964c) describes a dry rattling call whose sonagram is similar to that of
P. oxyrhynchus; however, the call is said to resemble that of P. longirostris. Perret (1991a) quotes a dry rattling or bleating sound.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone
Range: Records are published for: Senegal, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ivory Coast (Guibé & Lamotte 1955c, 1957, Schiøtz 1964b, c, 1967, Barbault 1967, Lamotte ?1967b, 1969, 1971, 1998, Euzet et al. 1969, Maeder 1969, Frost 1985, Zug 1987).
Habitats: Open savannas at Mt. Nimba (Schiøtz 1967) and Mt. Loma (Lamotte 1971). Perret (1991a) quotes temporary ponds in open grass savannas. In Comoé National Park it was found in two larger but temporary savanna ponds.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Spawn: Zug (1978) collected ovarian eggs measuring 0.9–1 mm, with dark and white poles.
Tadpoles: The ovoid, beige tadpole shows a green glimmer. The last third to half of the tail axis and tail fin is black. The tail fin is not as fragile as in P. schubotzi tadpoles. Metamorphosed froglets already have continuous light dorsolateral ridges. Webbing and pattern of dorsal ridges is as in adult P. tournieri. Horny teeth are long and slender, with 2–4 short tips. The oral disc has one lateral one, three laterocaudal and two to three caudal rows of papillae.
According to Lamotte et al. (1958), the ovoid larvae possess comparatively short tails whose final tail axis and fin section is scattered with white spots. The keratodont formula is 1 // 2. Anterior to the corner of the mouth there is a single row of papillae, posterior to it are two rows. Frontal to the mouth the papillae show the gap that is typical of Ptychadena tadpoles. The hind legs begin to develop at a TL of 24–25 mm, and the forelimbs emerge when the larvae measure approx. 30 mm.
Biology. In Comoé National Park males called in July 1998 on the banks of savanna ponds. Tadpoles live in the rich vegetation of the shallow part of these ponds. In Sierra Leone and Senegal, this species inhabits small shallow stagnant waters (Schiøtz 1964c, Lamotte 1969). The soil in these habitats is usually very hard, only bearing some scattered tufts of grass. Numerous puddles develop during periods of rainfall. Males usually call from small elevations near the water. Flooded rice fields are inhabited as well (Schiøtz 1964b).
This account was taken from Rödel, M.-O. (2000), Herpetofauna of West Africa vol. I. Amphibians of the West African Savanna, with kind permission from Edition Chimaira publishers, Frankfurt am Main.
For references in the text, see here
Rödel, M. O. (2000). Herpetofauna of West Africa, Vol. I. Amphibians of the West African Savanna. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, Germany.
Originally submitted by: Marc-Oliver Rödel (first posted 2001-05-07)
Edited by: Arie van der Meijden (2002-02-08)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2002 Ptychadena tournieri <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/4961> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 5, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 5 Dec 2023.
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