AmphibiaWeb - Afrixalus spinifrons


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Afrixalus spinifrons (Cope, 1862)
Natal Spiny Reed Frog
family: Hyperoliidae
genus: Afrixalus

© 2008 Martin Pickersgill (1 of 7)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (7 records).

A small Afrixalus (males to 20 mm, females to 25 mm) from open vegetation in coastal KwaZulu/Natal, South Africa. Voice a buzzing. Dorsum dark with a pair of broad light dorsolateral bands from eye to groin. The pattern is rather constant. Black asperities on back with a concentration on the head and the bulbous snout. Ventrum whitish, gular disc dark yellow. Sympatric with A. delicatus, which has a pointed snout without black asperities.
Subspecies. – Pickersgill has established a subspecies, A. s. intermedius, for what was formerly regarded as the more north-easterly populations of A. knysnae. This form is intermediate between A. knysnae and A. s. spinifrons in most characters and it would seem as if a distinction between them at species level is unnecessary.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: South Africa


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (7 records).
KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Coast, South Africa.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males call from emergent vegetation, often favouring plants with long leaves suitable for nest construction. High density choruses are common. The voice is a short zip on a rising note and a long buzzing (up to 5.2 sec) with a frequency-intensity maximum at about 4000 cps, and a rate of about 30 per second.

The eggs are placed in a glued leaf above or below water with a clutch size of 10 to 50. The tadpoles are up to 32 mm in length with a tooth formula of 0/0.

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 2001-01-01)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2008-09-09)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Afrixalus spinifrons: Natal Spiny Reed Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 6, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 6 Dec 2023.

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