Phrynobatrachus ukingensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Phrynobatrachidae

Scientific Name: Phrynobatrachus ukingensis (Loveridge, 1932)
Common Name(s):
English Ukinga River Frog, Ukinga Puddle Frog
Arthroleptis ukingensis Loveridge, 1932
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: The taxonomic status of this species in relation to Phrynobatrachus mababiensis and P. parvulus is not clear (Poynton and Broadley 1985b).

In addition, molecular analysis recorded in Zimkus and Schick (2010) suggests that P. ungujae may be synonymous with P. ukingensis. However, only one specimen of P. ukingensis was included in the analysis. Synonymy seems highly unlikely on distributional grounds (Poyton pers. comm. June 2012). Future collections of P. ukingensis are required to resolve this issue.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-08-11
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG)
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Channing, A., Rebelo, A., Turner, A.A., de Villiers, A., Tambara, E., Becker, F., Harvey, J., Tarrant, J., Measey, G.J., Poynton, J., Tolley, K., Minter, L., du Preez, L., Mazibuko, L., Cunningham, M.J., Baptista, N., Hopkins, R., Conradie, W. & Chapeta, Y.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Rebelo, A., Measey, G.J., Neam, K.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and remaining suitable habitat across its range. Considering its taxonomic status requires review, a reassessment of this frog’s conservation status will be required if its taxonomic status is revised in the future.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in the Ukinga and Rungwe Mountains of southern Tanzania, in the Misuku Mountains and at Nchenachena in northern Malawi, and at Maroka (in the highlands southwest of Zomba) in southern Malawi. It has also been found much further to the north in the Uluguru Mountains of eastern Tanzania. It presumably occurs more widely, in particular between the currently known sites. Records from Kenya need to be confirmed and are thus not included in this assessment. It is a montane species, probably occurring above 1,000 m Asl, and perhaps ranging to over 2,000 m Asl in places.
Countries occurrence:
Malawi; Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:7964.63
Number of Locations:4
Lower elevation limit (metres):1000
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is very little information on its population status. It has only seldom been recorded, presumably due to confusion with Phrynobatrachus parvulus and P. mababiensis. However, it was recorded in 2007 in the Musuku Mountains of northern Malawi (Mercurio 2011).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It appears to be a species of montane forest, forest edges, and open montane grassland. It apparently lives in marshy areas in open environments, or at the edge of montane forest, and presumably breeds by larval development in marshes and associated pools. Eggs are small and black and float on the surface of the water (Harper et al. 2010).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no information about the use or trade of this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats to this species are agricultural expansion, wood extraction and expanding human settlements, which are most likely adversely affecting it by causing the ongoing loss of forest and degradation of montane grassland within its range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
This species distribution overlaps with Mpanga/Kipengere Game Reserve and Kitulo National Park in southern Tanzania and occurs in Matipa and Wilindi Forest Reserves in the Misuku Mountains of northern Malawi.

Conservation Needed
The protection of this species' habitat needs to be continued and improved. 

Research Needed
Its taxonomic status requires review (see taxonomic notes; J. Poynton pers. comm. June 2012) and more information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, natural history, further conservation actions required, and its threats.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG). 2017. Phrynobatrachus ukingensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T58146A77162114. . Downloaded on 20 October 2017.
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