The Hyperoliidae, or sedge frogs and bush frogs, are a large family of small to medium-sized, brightly colored frogs which contains more than 250 species in 19 genera. Seventeen genera are native to sub-Saharan Africa.[1] In addition, the monotypic genus Tachycnemis occurs on the Seychelles Islands, and the genus Heterixalus (currently 10 species) is endemic to Madagascar.

Heterixalus alboguttatus01.jpg
Heterixalus alboguttatus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Clade: Afrobatrachia
Family: Hyperoliidae
Laurent, 1943

17 genera (see text)

Hyperoliids range from 1.5 to 8 cm (0.59 to 3.15 in) in body length. Many species have smooth, brightly patterned skin that almost looks enameled.[2]

Most hyperoliids are arboreal, but some are terrestrial, including several Kassina species that move by walking or running rather than hopping. Diets vary widely, with examples including Tornierella, which specializes on snails[citation needed], and Afrixalus fornasini, the only terrestrial frog known to prey on eggs of other species of anurans.

Breeding in this family begins at the start of the rainy season, where hyperoliids congregate at breeding sites. Most hyperoliids lay their eggs in water, although foam nesting, tree-hole breeding, and laying of eggs in vegetation above water are all known behaviors.[2] Afrixalus builds leaf nests for its eggs, by folding and gluing the edges of the leaves. Tadpoles are pond type larvae with large dorsal fins on their tails.

No fossil hyperoliids are known.


As of mid 2016, there are 17 genera with 222 species, more than half of them in the very species-rich Hyperolius:[3]


  1. ^ Shiotz, 1999
  2. ^ a b Zweifel, Robert G. (1998). Cogger, H.G.; Zweifel, R.G. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 100–101. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.
  3. ^ Frost, Darrel R. (2016). "Hyperoliidae Laurent, 1943". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 14 June 2016.

Schiotz, A. 1999. Treefrogs of Africa. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, ISBN 3-930612-24-0

Further readingEdit

Burton, R.; Burton, M. (2002). "Reed frogs" (PDF). Marshall Cavendish International Wildlife Encyclopedia. Volume 15 (3rd ed.). Marshall Cavendish. pp. 2146–2147. ISBN 978-0-7614-7266-7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-29. |volume= has extra text (help)

External linksEdit