AmphibiaWeb - Hyperolius rubrovermiculatus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Hyperolius rubrovermiculatus Schiøtz, 1975
family: Hyperoliidae
genus: Hyperolius

© 2008 Arne Schiotz (1 of 5)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None



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

A medium-sized Hyperolius (males 24-30 mm, females 28-32 mm) from forests in coastal Kenya. Similar to H. mitchelli in morphology but H. rubrovermiculatus Phase F has a dark dorsum with red spots or vermiculations anda broad white canthal and dorsolateral stripe. White spots on heels. The males have a coarse dorsum, the females are smooth. Pupil horizontal.

Colour, Phase J: Dorsum dark to light brown, most often with diffuse darker spots and vermiculations. Ventrum yellow, throat yellow to orange, feet and discs orange to red. Phase F: Dorsum light to dark brown with red vermiculations, sometimes bright red. A broad, pure white canthal and dorsolateral stripe present, not delimited with black. Normally a white lumbar band is present. White spots on heels. Ventrum as in phase J.

Although strikingly different in coloration this form should nevertheless be compared with H. mitchelli. In general morphology, voice and habitat preference they are identical, and they seem to vicariate for each other. H. rubrovermiculatus should therefore possibly be regarded as a northern subspecies of H. mitchelli. One difference is that the dorsum in females of rubrovermiculatus is smooth, that of mitchelli coarse, but the systematic importance of this character has not been explored.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Kenya


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (2 records).
Collected in forest clearings on the coast of Kenya south of Mombasa.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The call is a series of brief screams, possibly identical with those of H. mitchelli. There is an indistinct frequency-intensity maximum at 3000-3500 cps.

This species shows developmental changes in patterning, with two phases, J (juveniles and many mature males) and F (mature females and some mature males). All newly metamorphosed individuals are phase J, which is normally brownish to green with paired light dorsolateral lines, or an hourglass pattern. All females, and some males, develop into phase F before the first breeding season. Phase F is often colorful and variable, showing the diagnostic color characteristics for the species or subspecies. Either well-defined morphs may be present, or graded variation.

This account was taken from "Treefrogs of Africa" by Arne Schiøtz with kind permission from Edition Chimaira publishers, Frankfurt am Main.


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

Originally submitted by: Arne Schiøtz (first posted 2001-01-29)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2008-09-10)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Hyperolius rubrovermiculatus <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 12, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 12 Apr 2024.

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