- Terrestrial Biomes
- savanna or grassland
- Aquatic Biomes
- rivers and streams
- temporary pools
- Other Habitat Features
- Sexual Dimorphism
- sexes alike
- Range length
- 43 (high) mm
- 1.69 (high) in
- Development - Life Cycle
Males establish small calling territories in ponds in order to breed. Elevated calling sites are defended through intense kicking bouts against any male intruders. (Channing, 2001)females approach males in breeding ponds and initiate amplexus.
This lasts for several hours making it possible for a male to mate with only one female each night. Fertilization is external during the period of egg laying. A ("Survival Online", 2001; "Travel Africa Online", 2002; Channing, 2001; Grafe, 1997; Schmuck, et al., 1994)clutch consists of 150-600 small eggs that are between 1.3-1.5mm in diameter, and are within 2.5mm capsules. The eggs are laid in clumps of about 20, attached to underwater vegetation, during the rainy season. They are pale yellow with a dark brown end, although some have also been reported to be blue-green. In captivity, females are reported to produce eggs every 2 or 3 weeks for up to 14 months or longer, once they reach sexual maturity. In the field this may be variable depending on the weather.
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- Females may produce eggs every 2 to 3 weeks.
- Breeding season
- Breeding seasons last from the first rains of spring to late summer.
- Range number of offspring
- 150 to 650
- Average number of offspring
- Average time to hatching
- 5 days
Neither sex provides parental care. (Channing, 2001)
- Parental Investment
- no parental involvement
In captivity (Channing, 2001)can live at least 4 years 9 months.
- Typical lifespan
- 4.75 (high) years
- Typical lifespan
There is no information available on home range in this frog species.
Communication and Perception
Touch is used to initiate amplexus. These frogs also perceive the environment with their keen eyesight, attuned to perceiving motion.
- Animal Foods
- terrestrial non-insect arthropods
- Known Predators
- frog-eating bats (Nycteris grandis)
- Angolan green snakes (Philothamnus angolensis)
- herald or red-lipped snakes (Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia)
- brown water snakes (Lycodonomorphus rufulus)
- fishing spiders (Araneae)
- young crocodiles (Crocodylus)
- predatory birds, such as kingfishers (Alcedinidae)
- tree frogs (Leptopelis)
- red-legged kassina (Kassina maculata)
is prey to many different species of animals in its ecosystem.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
- Positive Impacts
- controls pest population
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no known adverse effects of these frogs on humans.
These frogs are widespread and not currently considered threatened. Local populations may be threatened by water diversions, habitat disruption, and pesticide or herbicide use.
Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Jessica High (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.
uses sound to communicate
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
to jointly display, usually with sounds, at the same time as two or more other individuals of the same or different species
to jointly display, usually with sounds in a highly coordinated fashion, at the same time as one other individual of the same species, often a mate
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
- external fertilization
fertilization takes place outside the female's body
union of egg and spermatozoan
mainly lives in water that is not salty.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
Referring to a mating system in which a female mates with several males during one breeding season (compare polygynous).
having more than one female as a mate at one time
"many forms." A species is polymorphic if its individuals can be divided into two or more easily recognized groups, based on structure, color, or other similar characteristics. The term only applies when the distinct groups can be found in the same area; graded or clinal variation throughout the range of a species (e.g. a north-to-south decrease in size) is not polymorphism. Polymorphic characteristics may be inherited because the differences have a genetic basis, or they may be the result of environmental influences. We do not consider sexual differences (i.e. sexual dimorphism), seasonal changes (e.g. change in fur color), or age-related changes to be polymorphic. Polymorphism in a local population can be an adaptation to prevent density-dependent predation, where predators preferentially prey on the most common morph.
Referring to something living or located adjacent to a waterbody (usually, but not always, a river or stream).
specialized for leaping or bounding locomotion; jumps or hops.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
- tropical savanna and grassland
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
- temperate grassland
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
movements of a hard surface that are produced by animals as signals to others
uses sight to communicate
2001. "Survival Online" (On-line). Accessed March 18, 2002 at http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/nature/survivalonline/reedfrog.html.
2002. "Travel Africa Online" (On-line). Accessed 11/14/05 at http://www.travelafricamag.com/content/view/711/72/.
Channing, A. 2001. Amphibians of Central and Southern Africa. Ithaca and London: Comstock Publishing Associates - Cornell University Press.
Dyson, M., S. Henzi, T. Halliday, L. Barrett. 1998. Success breeds success in mating male reed frogs (Hyperolius marmoratus). The Royal Society of London, 265: 1417-1420.
Grafe, T. 1997. Costs and benefits of mate choice in the lek-breeding reed frog, Hyperolius marmoratus. Animal Behavior, 53: 1103-1117.
Schmuck, R., W. Geise, K. Linsenmair. 1994. Life cycle strategies and physiological adjusments of reedfrog tadpoles (Amphibia, anura, hyperoliidae) in relation to environmental conditions. Copeia, 4: 996-1007.
Schmuck, R., K. Linsenmair. 1997. Regulation of body water balance in reedfrogs (superspecies Hyperolius viridiflavus and Hyperolius marmoratus: Amphibia, anura, hypeoliidae) living in unpredictably varying savannah environments. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 118A (4): 1335-1352.