Afrixalus fornasini


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Afrixalus fornasini
Species Authority: (Bianconi, 1849)
Taxonomic Notes: Pickersgill (1996, 2007) recognized Afrixalus unicolor (Boettger, 1913) as a distinct species; thus Afrixalus fornasinii from South Africa to southern Tanzania (including the area around Lake Malawi) and A. unicolor from southern Tanzania (including Zanzibar and Pemba Islands) to Kenya. However, here we follow Schiøtz (1999) in considering these to constitute a single species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-06-24
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): Schiøtz, A., Minter, L. & Pickersgill, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Morris, E.J.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats and its presumed large population.
2004 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species ranges from coastal Kenya southward through eastern and southern Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe to coastal KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Though its presence is uncertain in Swaziland, this area is still mapped on the species distribution. It is a lowland species generally occurring below 300 m, though it has been recorded up to 1,300 m asl.
Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; South Africa; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zimbabwe
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is an abundant species in suitable sites, breeding in small congregations.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a species of moist savannah, bush land, grassland, and dry forest, with a possible preference for dense savannah. It breeds in permanent and semi-permanent pools, dams, vleis and marshes with reeds and sedges, tending to favour permanent waterbodies. The eggs are laid on emergent vegetation, particularly on leaf blades of Cyperus sedges.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In the south of its range it is threatened by sugar cane farming, urbanization, drainage of breeding sites, afforestation with pines, and the spread of eucalyptus (drying up breeding sites). Chemical spraying to control mosquitoes might impact some populations. However, overall it is not threatened. 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.

Bibliography [top]

Bishop, P.J. 1994. Aspects of the social organization in anuran choruses. PhD thesis, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

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.

Drewes, R.C and Altig, R. 1996. Anuran egg predation and heterocannibalism in a breeding community of East African frogs. Tropical Zoology: 333-347.

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.

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. 1996. On the status of Afrixalus unicolor (Boettger, 1913) [Anura, Hyperoliidae]. Herptile: 79-84.

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. 1966. Amphibia of northern Mozambique. Memoirs de Instituto de Investigação Científica de Moçambique Ser. A. Ciencas B: 13-34.

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.

Schneichel, W. and Schneider, H. 1988. Hearing and calls of the banana frog, Afrixalus fornasinii (Bianconi) (Anura: Rhacophoridae). Amphibia-Reptilia: 251-263.

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.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2013. Afrixalus fornasini. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 29 August 2015.
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