Hemisus guineensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Hemisotidae

Scientific Name: Hemisus guineensis 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. Ongoing taxonomic work (by de Sá and colleagues) will result in reshaping our knowledge of cryptic species richness and distributions of populations currently assigned to Hemisus marmoratus and H. guineensis.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2013-01-08
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Morris, E.J.
Contributor(s): Msuya, C.A., Blackburn, D., Poynton, J., Howell, K., Minter, L., Rödel , M.-O., Loader, S. & Lötters, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Tarrant, J. & Luedtke, J.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a wide variety of habitats and its presumed large population.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs from Senegal east to Kenya, and south to Angola, northern Botswana, central Mozambique, and extreme northern South Africa. It is rarely found in forest regions, but has been recorded in some forest areas (northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo). Definite records are lacking from certain countries within its mapped range: Togo, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Burundi, and Namibia. It might also occur in South Sudan (which is not included in the species' distribution on the map). There are few records from the different parts of its range, and so the map should be considered as highly provisional.
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Benin; Cameroon; Chad; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Little is known about the species' population size and abundance.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

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

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no reports of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Given how little this species is known, it is difficult to evaluate threats faced by this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
It occurs in many protected areas.

Research Needed
Further research on the distribution, population status, ecology, threats and taxonomy is required.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2016. Hemisus guineensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T55279A3027158. . Downloaded on 22 September 2017.
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