Hemisus guineensis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Hemisotidae

Scientific Name: Hemisus guineensis
Species Authority: Cope, 1865
Common Name(s):
English Guinea Snout-burrower
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2013. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.6 (9 January 2013). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: This form is a complex of more than one species, probably comprising several species (M.-O. Rödel pers comm.). In many parts of its range, the distinction between this species and Hemisus marmoratus is not clear.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Charles Msuya, Mark-Oliver Rödel, John Poynton, Leslie Minter, Kim Howell, Stefan Lötters
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a wide variety of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs from Senegal east to Kenya, south to Angola, northern Botswana, central Mozambique, and extreme northern South Africa. It generally avoids the forest belt, but it is present in the West African forest zone, and in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Definite records are lacking from certain countries within its mapped range: Togo, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, and Namibia. It might also occur in Sudan. There are not very many records from the different parts of its range, and so the map should be considered as highly provisional.
Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Benin; Cameroon; Chad; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Mozambique; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Since it is seen only during rainy weather or when it is breeding, it is hard to assess its abundance. It appears to fluctuate hugely in numbers. It can be abundant in the West African forest zone. There are no recent records from South Africa.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Through most of its range, it is a woodland and savannah species, though it occurs in forest and secondary habitats in West Africa. It is fossorial during the dry season. It nests in a burrow in wet soil by temporary water (even up to 200m from water). The tadpoles move into water (probably in the same way as Hemisus marmoratus) and the female guards the nest.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is an adaptable species that is not facing any significant threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in many protected areas.

Citation: Charles Msuya, Mark-Oliver Rödel, John Poynton, Leslie Minter, Kim Howell, Stefan Lötters. 2004. Hemisus guineensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T55279A11268380. . Downloaded on 24 May 2016.
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