IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Description

A small Hyperolius (males 20–27 mm, females 23–34 mm) from the central parts of Africa. Phase J apple green with a light triangle on the snout and broad silverish dorsolateral stripes. Phase F dense silverish grey with minute black spots. Ventrum yellow. This is the only central African Hyperolius where phase J always has a light triangle on the snout. This species undergoes metachrosis. Coloration by night: Phase J iron red including the lighter canthal triangle and the dorsolateral lines. The ground colour of phase F is also reddish.

The species shows some geographical variation, and has been split into two subspecies, which, however, may not reflect the considerable variation within the species:

H. o. ocellatus from Cameroun west of the Sanaga river. Some males have the phase F coloration. Female phase with small spots, not ocellated, and with marbled or spotted ventrum.

H. o. purpurescens Laurent 1943. East and south of Sanaga river. All males with light triangle on snout and dorsolateral lines (phase J). Females with larger, fewer spots on blue-green background and ventral surfaces unspotted.

This species shows developmental changes in patterning, with two phases, J (juveniles and many mature males) and F (mature females and some mature males). All newly metamorphosed individuals are phase J, which is normally brownish to green with paired light dorsolateral lines, or an hourglass pattern. All females, and some males, develop into phase F before the first breeding season. Phase F is often colorful and variable, showing the diagnostic color characteristics for the species or subspecies. Either well-defined morphs may be present, or graded variation.

This account was taken from "Treefrogs of Africa" by Arne Schiøtz with kind permission from Edition Chimaira publishers, Frankfurt am Main.

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