AmphibiaWeb - Hyperolius argus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Hyperolius argus Peters, 1854
Umgqagqa i-Argusa (Zulu)
family: Hyperoliidae
genus: Hyperolius
Species Description: Peters, W. C. H. (1854). Diagnosen neuer Batrachier, welche zusammen mit der früher (24. Juli und 18. August) gegebenen Übersicht der Schlangen und Eidechsen mitgetheilt werden. Bericht über die zur Bekanntmachung geeigneten Verhandlungen der Königlich Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1854: 614–628.

© 2008 Arne Schiotz (1 of 10)
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 (4 records).

A large eastern Hyperolius (both sexes 27 - 34 mm), the males green with a thin light dorsolateral line, the females with large round light spots. There is a sexual difference in coloration: males grass green to yellowish, sometimes with diffuse darker spots. A dark canthal line and a light canthal and dorsolateral line are often present. Ventrum whitish, throat and underside of limbs as dorsum. Females light to dark brown with light golden, black-edged canthal lines and rounded dorsal spots. Ventrum orange, limbs and feet red. Pupil horizontal.

The populations from South Africa and southern Mozambique differ somewhat from those of further north: males are often brown rather than green and females often have fewer spots, sometimes with dorsolateral lines instead. That makes them almost indistinguishable from H. puncticulatus, which according to Poynton and Broadley (1987) does not penetrate that far south. Furthermore there are indications of intergradation with H. semidiscus. Males can closely resemble H. pusillus and H. viridis in pattern and morphology but are much larger.

There is a great similarity, possibly reflecting true relationship, to the West African H. guttulatus. A comparison with H. kachalolae and H. pseudargus is made under these species.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, United Republic of


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (4 records).
Near water in rather dense savanna of eastern Africa from southernmost, coastal Somalia to coastal South Africa.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The call is a slow series of low-pitched pure notes with a soft quality. The duration of the single figures are rather long and there is a well-defined frequency-intensity maximum at about 2000 cps.

The eggs are attached to vegetation below the surface of the water according to Wager (1985). This may be caused by a rising of the water level after the eggs have been laid. About 200 eggs are laid in clusters of about 30. Tadpoles reach 48 mm and are light brown with a pale underside and mottled fins. Tooth formula 1/3.

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


Phaka, F.M., Netherlands, E.C., Kruger, D.J.D., Du Preez, L.H. (2019). Folk taxonomy and indigenous names for frogs in Zululand, South Africa. J Ethnobiology Ethnomedicine 15, 17. [link]

Poynton, J. C. and Broadley, D. G. (1987). ''Amphibia Zambesiaca 3. Rhacophoridae and Hyperoliidae.'' Annals of the Natal Museum, 28, 161-229.

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

Wager, V. A. (1985). The Frogs of South Africa. Purnell and Sons, Cape Town, South Africa.

Originally submitted by: Arne Schiøtz (first posted 2001-01-29)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2023-05-31)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Hyperolius argus: Umgqagqa i-Argusa (Zulu) <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 16, 2024.

Feedback or comments about this page.


Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 16 Apr 2024.

AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.