AmphibiaWeb - Hyperolius pictus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Hyperolius pictus Ahl, 1931
Variable Reed Frog
family: Hyperoliidae
genus: Hyperolius

© 2011 Luke Verburgt (1 of 6)
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 medium-sized Hyperolius (both sexes 23-29 mm) from the savannas at high altitude in southern Tanzania and northern Malawi. Dorsum with a very variable pattern in beautiful subdued brown and green colours. Dorsum from pure brown to brown with three green longitudinal stripes, sometimes irregular or broken up into spots, to pure green. Ventrum yellow to orange. Juveniles are brown with three regular lines. Pupil horizontal.

H. pictus is a characteristic element in the East African highland fauna. Green-backed specimens may resemble H. v. marginatus but they have a longer snout, a much smaller gular flap and more reduced webbing. Brown-backed specimens may be similar to unpatterned H. puncticulatus. H. puncticulatus are, however, larger than H. pictus and with more extensive webbing.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Malawi, Tanzania, United Republic of, Zambia


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (4 records).
Open grassland in highlands of southern Tanzania, northern Malawi and north-eastern Zambia.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The call consists of alternating slow and fast unmelodic creaks, uttered with rather long intervals. Both types of call consist of a number of figures with a very indistinct frequency-intensity maximum.

The eggs are placed in batches of 60-90 in vegetation above water.

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 pictus: Variable Reed Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 15, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 15 Apr 2024.

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