Afrixalus spinifrons 

Scope: Global

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Hyperoliidae

Scientific Name: Afrixalus spinifrons
Species Authority: (Cope, 1862)
Common Name(s):
English Natal Leaf-folding Frog, Intermediate Spiny Reed Frog, Natal Banana Frog, Natal Spiny Reed Frog
<i>Hyperolius spinifrons</i> Cope, 1862
<i>Megalixalus fornasinii spinifrons</i> Power 1935
<i>Megalixalus spinifrons</i> Ahl 1930
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6 (27 January 2014). New York, USA. Available at: (Accessed: 27 January 2014).
Taxonomic Notes: We follow Pickersgill (1996) in considering what were formerly regarded as the eastern populations of Afrixalus knysnae to be a subspecies of A. spinifrons (A. s. intermedius). Species boundaries in this complex are uncertain and taxonomic studies using calls, morphology and genetics are necessary.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2010-02-08
Assessor(s): South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG), IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Angulo, A. & Menegon, M.
Contributor(s): Channing, A., Turner, A.A., de Villiers, A., Harvey, J., Tarrant, J., Measey, J., Tolley, K., Minter, L., du Preez, L., Burger, M., Cunningham, M. & Davies, S.
Listed as Near Threatened as although its extent of occurrence is 19,000 km², its area of occupancy is less than 1,900 km², and there is continuing decline in the quality of its habitat, there are 11 locations and the spatial distribution of this species is not considered to be severely fragmented. However, certain sites where this species occurs do have a large number of different threats which may seriously impact on  population viability in future. Loss of certain sites could easily result in less than 10 locations triggering the criteria for Vulnerable status.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species, which is endemic to South Africa, occurs as two subspecies: A. s. spinifrons occurs in the KwaZulu-Natal lowlands, and eastern Cape coast of South Africa at low to intermediate altitudes; A.s. intermedius occurs at altitudes above 1,000 m to around 1,500 m asl in western KwaZulu-Natal between the midlands and foothills of the Drakensberg. The Extent of Occurrence is around 19,000 km², and the Area of Occupancy is estimated to be 10% of this.
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1900Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:19000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:11Continuing decline in number of locations:No
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is hard to detect but it is known to be doing well at some sites where it appears abundant.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is associated with low vegetation in shrubland and dry forest. It breeds in vleis (including dams) and temporary pools and pans (including roadside pools) and uses emergent vegetation to create egg nests. Species in this genus deposit between 20 and 50 eggs on vegetation above the water. Tadpoles emerge, drop into the water and remain there until metamorphosis.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no reports of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Certain subpopulations are affected by loss of wetlands through urban and recreational development, afforestation, agricultural expansion, pesticides, and overgrazing by livestock. Coastal populations (i.e. A. s. spinifrons) may be at higher risk than those inland due to heavier development pressure along the KZN coastline. 

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Determining whether the two subspecies are separate species is a high conservation research priority for this species, and the entire genus in South Africa is in need of taxonomic attention. Insufficient information exists on life history of the subspecies, and monitoring of breeding sites is recommended at the extremes of the distribution. Although there are many threats to individual sites, the species as a whole is not considered to require conservation effort at this time.

Afrixalus spinifrons intermedius occurs in the Khahlamba-Drakensberg National Park. Afrixalus s. spinifrons occurs in a number of coastal protected areas.

Citation: South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG), IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2010. Afrixalus spinifrons. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T56078A11407788. . Downloaded on 26 October 2016.
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