African Zoology

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Cryptic species of sharp-nosed reed frogs in the Hyperolius nasutus complex: Advertisement call differences

Alan Channing, David Moyer, Marius Burger


The sharp-nosed reed frog is widespread in Africa. Although currently recognized as one species, suggestions have been made that more than one species might exist. We analysed 237 calls of 69 males from 19 localities in the western to southern parts of Africa. Calls fall into three groups, which we recognize as cryptic species. Of eight published sound spectrograms, all can be assigned to one of the three species. We recognize Hyperolius nasutus, distributed from western Africa to the Okavango Delta in Botswana; Hyperolius viridis, from the central highlands of northwestern Zambia to southern Tanzania; and Hyperolius acuticeps which occurs from the Ivory Coast to the southeastern coast of South Africa. We assign published names to the synonymies of these three species. No call data are available for populations in the Congo basin.

Key words: Hyperolius, H. nasutus, H. viridis, H. acuticeps, advertisement call, taxonomy.
AJOL African Journals Online