Sclerophrys superciliaris 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Bufonidae

Scientific Name: Sclerophrys superciliaris
Species Authority: (Boulenger, 1888)
Common Name(s):
English African Giant Toad, Congo Toad
Amietophrynus superciliaris (Boulenger, 1888)
Bufo superciliaris Boulenger, 1888
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2016. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (31 October 2016). New York, USA Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: This form is probably a complex of three species (M.-O. Rödel pers. comm.). The population in the Upper Guinea forest block is suspected to be a different species from that in Central Africa. Amietophrynus chevalieri may not be a synonym of Amietophrynus superciliaris, but could be the species that occurs in the Upper Guinea forest (A. Hillers pers. comm. 2009).

This species was under the generic name Amietophrynus but is now treated under Sclerophrys (Frost 2016).

This is an amended assessment created to account for the change in generic name.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2004-05-01
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Mills Tandy, Jean-Louis Amiet, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Annika Hillers
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S. & Chanson, J. and Cox, N. (Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species' main range is from extreme southeastern Nigeria eastward towards northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo. There are records from southwestern and southern Cameroon, mainland Equatorial Guinea, northern Congo, southwestern Central African Republic and central Gabon. In West Africa, there are isolated records from southern Ghana, southwestern Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and southern Guinea. It does not appear to have been recorded from Sierra Leone, but it is likely to occur in this country. It is generally a low-altitude species.
Countries occurrence:
Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Ghana; Liberia; Nigeria
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is generally uncommon through most of its range. It is very rare in West Africa.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:In Central Africa, it lives mainly in secondary forest, but also in tall primary forest, as well dense brush and cocoa plantations. In West Africa, it is restricted to primary forest along the banks of larger rivers. It breeds in relatively calm water in streams.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The international trade of this species is probably now greatly reduced.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although it is tolerant of some habitat modification in central Africa, it is probably affected to some extent by forest loss, especially when the habitat becomes very open. In the past it has been harvested for the pet trade, and this might have impacted some populations, and so low-level illegal trade might continue. The West African form is considered to be possibly threatened (Hillers and Rödel 2007), given that in Upper Guinea it is found exclusively in large, healthy forests, never in smaller or degraded forests, and large pristine forests are very rare and threatened in Upper Guinea due to logging, small-holder agriculture and more and more mining activities [e.g. iron ore in Guinea] (A. Hillers pers. comm. 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is included in Appendix I of CITES. It occurs in the Oban Hills National Park in Nigeria, the Korup National Park in Cameroon, the Taï National Park in Côte d’Ivoire, the Massif du Ziama Biosphere Reserve in Guinea, the Monte Alen National Park in Equatorial Guinea, in North Lorma National Forest in Liberia, and almost certainly in several other protected areas. The Upper Guinea population requires further taxonomic studies (A. Hillers pers. comm. 2009).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.2. Trade management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Energy production & mining -> 3.2. Mining & quarrying
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Amiet, J.-L. 1976. Voix d'Amphibiens camerounais. V - Bufonidae: genres Bufo, Werneria et Nectophryne. Annales de la Faculté des Sciences du Cameroun 21/22: 139-157.

Amiet, J.-L. and Perret, J.-L. 1969. Contributions a la faune de la region de Yaounde (Cameroun). II - Amphibiens Anoures. Annales de la Faculté des Sciences du Cameroun: 117-137.

Böhme, W. 1994. Frosche und Skinke aus dem Regenwaldgebiet Sudost Guineas, Westafrika. I. Einleitung; Pipidae, Arthroleptidae, Bufonidae. Herpetofauna: 11-19.

De la Riva, I. 1994. Anfibios anuros del Parque Nacional de Monte Alen, Rio Muni, Guinea Ecuatorial. Revista Espanola de Herpetologia: 123-139.

Frétey, T. and Blanc, C.P. 2000. Liste des Amphibiens d'Afrique Centrale. ADIE, Libreville, Gabon.

Frétey, T. and Blanc, C.P. 2001. Inventaire systématique des Amphibiens Anoures du centre du Gabon. Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France: 375-390.

Frétey, T. and Dewynter, M. 1998. Amphibiens anoures de la Foret des Abeilles (Gabon). Journal of African Zoology: 171-184.

Frost, D.R. 2016. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (31 October 2016). New York, USA Available at:

Herrmann, H.-W., Böhme, W., Herrmann, P.A., Plath, M., Schmitz, A. and Solbach, M. 2005. African Biodiversity Hotspots: the amphibians of Mt. Nlonako, Cameroon. Salamandra 41(1/2): 61-81.

Hillers, A. and Rödel, M.-O. 2007. The amphibians of three national forests in Liberia, West Africa. Salamandra 43(1): 1-10.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

Lasso, C.A., Rial, A.I., Castroviejo, J. and de la Riva, I. 2002. Herpetofauna del Parque Nacional de Monte Alen (Rio Muni, Guinea Ecuatorial). Graellsia: 21-34.

Lawson, D.P. 1993. The reptiles and amphibians of the Korup National Park Project, Cameroon. Herpetological Natural History 1(2): 27-90.

Lötters, S., Gossmann, V., Obame, F. and Böhme, W. 2001. Zur Herpetofauna Gabuns, Teil I: Einleitung, Untersuchungsgebiet und Methodik, kommentierte Artenliste der gefundenen Froschlurche. Herpetofauna: 19-34.

Orts, S.G. 1970. Description et ecologie des formes larvaires de Bufo superciliaris Blgr. Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr.: 207-219.

Perret, J.-L. 1966. Les Amphibiens du Cameroun. Zoologische Jahrbuecher fuer Systematik 8: 289-464.

Rödel, M.-O. 2000. Les communautes d'amphibiens dans le Parc National de Tai, Cote d'Ivoire. Les anoures comme bio-indicateurs de l 'etat des habitats. Rapport de Centre Suisse de la Recherche Scientifique, Abidjan 9: 108-113.

Rödel, M.-O. and Bangoura, M.A. 2004. A conservation assessment of amphibians in the Forêt Classée du Pic de Fon, Simandou Range, southeastern Republic of Guinea, with the description of a new Amnirana species (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae). Tropical Zoology 17: 201-232.

Tandy, M. and Keith, R. 1972. African Bufo. In: W.F. Blair (ed.), Evolution in the Genus Bufo, pp. 119-170. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.

Citation: Mills Tandy, Jean-Louis Amiet, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Annika Hillers. 2016. Sclerophrys superciliaris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T54771A107350458. . Downloaded on 16 January 2017.
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