Reed Frog


A common reed frog (Hyperolius viridiflavus ‘pantherinus’) sleeps on a leaf, concealing its bright orange toepads underneath the body to avoid detection. Like most arboreal and nocturnal frogs, reed frogs will assume a typical blob formation in a shaded location during the day, retracting the legs to hold in all the moisture they can to avoid desiccation. It’s amazing that reed frogs manage to survive in this seasonally dry savanna ecosystem. Whereas some frogs are fossorial and lay dormant in the soil recesses deep below the surface to keep cool, reed frogs will cling to dry vegetation, exposing themselves to the scorching dry climate. Reed frogs will lower their metabolic rate and secrete mucus from the skin to allow for evaporative cooling when at risk of overheating. Hyperolius is a large and diverse genus comprising of ~150 species, many of which in turn consist of many different forms. In the viridiflavus group alone there are over 40 described forms, and there is some debate about whether some merit full species status. The pantherinus form pictured here is restricted to the highlands of central Kenya.

Photographed after slight disturbance [2]

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