Albertine Rift reed frog (Hyperolius discodactylus)

Synonyms: Hyperolius alticola
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAmphibia
OrderAnura
FamilyHyperoliidae
GenusHyperolius (1)
SizeMale length: 29 - 33 mm (2)

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

Hyperolius discodactylus is one of at least nine Hyperolius species endemic to the Albertine Rift, one of the richest sites for biodiversity in Africa (1) (3). In common with many species within this genus, it has moderately long-limbs and large toe pads that aid its largely arboreal lifestyle (4) (5). The smooth back of this species varies in colour between brown and orange and is sometimes dotted with diffuse dark spots. Underneath it is bright orange except for the male vocal sac which is bright green (2). The call of male Hyperolius discodactylus is a fairly long buzzing (2).

Found in the Albertine Rift, encompassing parts of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, western Rwanda, western Burundi, and south-western Uganda (1).

Hyperolius discodactylus occurs along streams in montane forests (6).

Very little is known about Hyperolius discodactylus or indeed about most of the species within the genus. In the wet season the reed frogs tend to gather near water, preferably smaller temporary water bodies, where they breed. However, very little is known of their whereabouts outside the breeding season (6). Most, if not all, Hyperolius species from forest habitats deposit eggs in a gelatinous mass on vegetation above water, while some savanna-living species lay their eggs aquatically (5) (6).

In common with other reed frogs endemic to the Albertine Rift, the distribution of Hyperolius discodactylus is severely fragmented and its population is probably declining because of a decrease in the quality and extent of its habitat. Wood extraction, habitat conversion for agriculture and encroaching human settlement are thought to be principally responsible for habitat degradation in the Albertine Rift (1).

There are no known conservation measures for Hyperolius discodactylus, but it is known to be present in at least three protected areas, Bwindi National Park and Ruwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda, and Virungas National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (1).

For more information on conservation activities in the Albertine Rift see:

Authenticated (06/02/2009) by a Global Amphibian Assessment Scientist.

  1. IUCN Red List (April, 2008)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  2. AmphibiaWeb (November, 2008)
    http://amphibiaweb.org
  3. Wildlife Conservation Society Albertine Rift Programme (November, 2008)
    http://www.albertinerift.org
  4. Halliday, T. and Adler, K. (2002) The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  5. Duellman, W.E. and Trueb, L. (1994) Biology of Amphibians. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  6. Schi√łtz, A. (2009) Pers. comm.