Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Hyperoliidae

Scientific Name: Hyperolius argus
Species Authority: Peters, 1854
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:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-06-25
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): Schiøtz, A., Balletto, E. & Poynton, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Morris, E.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:
2004 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species from the eastern side of the African continent ranges from extreme southern Somalia, south through Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique to KwaZulu-Natal in eastern South Africa, and inland to southern Malawi and extreme southeastern Zimbabwe. It is a low-altitude species, occurring up to 300 m asl in South Africa.
Countries occurrence:
Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Somalia; South Africa; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zimbabwe
Upper elevation limit (metres): 300
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is generally a common species, though it has declined in areas heavily impacted by human activities in South Africa.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It lives near water in low elevation dense, humid savannah and grassland. It breeds in shallow pans, vleis and marshes, with floating and emergent vegetation, usually, though not always, preferring temporary water.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is sometimes found in the international pet trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is generally not threatened, but it is affected by urban expansion, agricultural intensification and the introduction of bass in the south of its range. It is sometimes found in the international pet trade but at levels that do not currently constitute a major threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in many protected areas.

Classifications [top]

2. Savanna -> 2.2. Savanna - Moist
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.6. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.3. Wetlands (inland) - Shrub Dominated Wetlands
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Unknown
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
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 -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Channing, A. 2001. Amphibians of Central and Southern Africa. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London.

Channing, A. and Howell, K.M. 2006. Amphibians of East Africa. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main.

Harper, E. and Vonesh, J.R. 2003. Field Guide to the Amphibians of the East Usambara Mountains. Preliminary Draft.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.2). Available at: (Accessed: 13 November 2013).

Lambiris, A.J.L. 1989. A review of the amphibians of Natal. Lammergeyer 39: 1-210.

Lambiris, A.J.L. 1989. The frogs of Zimbabwe. Mus. Reg. Sci. Nat. Torino, Monografia: 1-247.

Lanza, B. 1981. A Checklist of the Somali amphibians. Monitore Zoologico Italiano N.S. Supplemento: 151-186.

Lanza, B. 1990. Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: checklist and biogeography. Biogeographica: 407-465.

Minter, L.R., Burger, M., Harrison, J.A., Braack, H.H., Bishop, P.J. and Knoepfer, D. 2004. Atlas and Red Data Book of the Frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. SI/MAB Series No. 9, Washington, D.C.

Passmore, N.I. and Carruthers, V.C. 1995. South African Frogs, 2nd Edition. Southern Book Publishers and Witwatersrand University Press, Johannesburg.

Pickersgill, M. 2007. Frog Search. Results of Expeditions to Southern and Eastern Africa. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main.

Poynton, J.C. 1964. Amphibia of the Nyasa-Luangwa region of Africa. Senckenbergiana Biologica: 193-225.

Poynton, J.C. 1964. The amphibia of southern Africa: a faunal study. Annals of the Natal Museum 17: 1-334.

Poynton, J.C. 1986. Hyperolius argus in Natal: taxonomy, biogeography and conservation. S. Afr. J. Zool.: 149-152.

Poynton, J.C. 2003. Altitudinal species turnover in southern Tanzania shown by anurans: some zoogeographical considerations. Systematics and Biodiversity: 117-126.

Poynton, J.C. and Broadley, D.G. 1987. Amphibia Zambesiaca. 3. Rhacophoridae and Hyperoliidae. Annals of the Natal Museum: 161-229.

Schiøtz, A. 1975. The Treefrogs of Eastern Africa. Steenstrupia, Copenhagen.

Schiøtz, A. 1999. Treefrogs of Africa. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main.

Stevens, R.A. 1974. An annotated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles known to occur in south-eastern Malawi. Arnoldia Rhodesia: 1-22.

Stewart, M.M. 1967. Amphibians of Malawi. State University of New York Press, Albany.

Wager, V.A. 1986. Frogs of South Africa, 2nd edition. Delta Books, Craighall.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2013. Hyperolius argus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T56112A3035065. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided