Hoplobatrachus occipitalis (Günther, 1858)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Dicroglossidae > Subfamily: Dicroglossinae > Genus: Hoplobatrachus > Species: Hoplobatrachus occipitalis

Rana occipitalis Günther, 1858, Arch. Naturgesch., 24: 320. Syntypes: BMNH (12 specimens) implied by Günther, 1859 "1858", Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus.: 130. Type locality: "West-Afrika"; given as "West Africa", "Africa", and "Gambia" by Günther, 1859 "1858", Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus.: 130.

Rana bragantina Bocage, 1864, Rev. Mag. Zool., Paris, Ser. 2, 16: 253. Holotype: Not stated, presumably MBL, but considered lost by Perret, 1976, Arq. Mus. Bocage, Ser. 2, 6: 19, and, if it was extant in 1976, it would have been destroyed in 1978 fire. Type locality: "Angola (Afrique occidentale).—District du Duque de Bragança". Synonymy by Günther, 1867, Zool. Rec., 3: 129; Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 27; Bocage, 1895, Herpetol. Angola Congo: 155.

Rana (Fejervarya) occipitalisBolkay, 1915, Anat. Anz., 48: 172.

Rana tigrina var. occipitalisBoulenger, 1918, Rec. Indian Mus., 15: 58.

Rana (Rana) tigrina occipitalisChabanaud, 1921, Bull. Com. Études Hist. Scient. Afr. Occid. Franç., 1921: 450.

Ranosoma schereri Ahl, 1924, Arch. Naturgesch., Abt. A,, 90: 250. Holotype: ZMB unnumbered according to the original publication. Type locality: "Senegal". Synonymy by Barbour and Loveridge, 1930, in Strong (ed.), Afr. Rep. Liberia Belgian Congo, 2: 778.

Rana occipitalisNoble, 1924, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 49: 212–213; Parker, 1936, Zool. Meded., Leiden, 19: 89.

Rana mwanzae Loveridge, 1925, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1925: 772. Syntypes: MCZ 10337–78, by original desgination. Type locality: "a pool in the otherwise dry bed of the Simiyu River at Sagayo, Mwanza, Tanganyika Territory", Tanzania. Synonymy by Barbour and Loveridge, 1929, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 69: 330.

Rana (Rana) occipitalisDe Witte, 1930, Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 19: 259.

Rana esculenta bilmaensis Angel, 1936, Bull. Soc. Zool. France, 61: 277. Holotype: MNHNP 1936.123 according to Böhme, 1978, Rev. Suisse Zool., 85: 642. Type locality: "l’oasis de Bilma", Nigeria. Synonymy by Böhme, 1978, Rev. Suisse Zool., 85: 641–644.

Dicroglossus occipitalisDeckert, 1938, Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturforsch. Freunde Berlin, 1938: 138; Laurent, 1954, Publ. Cult. Companhia Diamantes Angola, 23: 133 (14 of preprint).

Rana (Dicroglossus) occipitalisDe Witte, 1952, Result. Sci., Explor. Hydrobiol. Lac Tanganyika (1946–47), 3: 5.

Rana (Euphlyctis) occipitalisDubois, 1981, Monit. Zool. Ital., N.S., Suppl., 15: 240.

Euphlyctis occipitalisPoynton and Broadley, 1985, Ann. Natal Mus., 27: 125; Largen, 2001, Tropical Zool., 14: 328.

Limnonectes (Hoplobatrachus) occipitalisDubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 61.

Hoplobatrachus occipitalisDubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 315.

English Names

African Tigrine Frog (Cochran, 1961, Living Amph. World: 153).

Giant Swamp Frog (Broadley, 1971, Puku, 6: 113).

Ethiopia Peters Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 99).

Crowned Bullfrog (Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 295).

Groove-crowned Bullfrog (Ananjeva, Borkin, Darevsky, and Orlov, 1988, Dict. Amph. Rept. Five Languages: 126; Barnett, Emms, and Santoni, 2001, Herpetol. Bull., London, 77: 8).

Eastern Groove-crowned Bullfrog (Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 268; Lötters, Wagner, Bwong, Schick, Malonza, Muchai, Wasonga, and Veith, 2007, Fieldguide Amph. Rept. Kakamega Forest: 26).

African Groove-crowned Frog (Largen and Spawls, 2010, Amph. Rept. Ethiopia Eritrea: 158).

African Tiger Frog (Kanga, Kouamé, Zogbass, Gongomin, Agoh, Kouamé, Konan, Adepo-Gourène, Gourène, and Rödel, 2021, Amph. Rept. Conserv., 15: 84).


Gambia and extreme southeastern Western Sahara to western Ethiopia (including isolated populations in southwestern Libya (see comment) and adjacent Algeria, Air mountains of Niger, northern Mali), south through subsaharan Africa to northern Zambia, northern to west-central Angola, and western Rep. Congo and western Dem. Rep. Congo, presumably in intervening Cabinda, Angola; reported from northeastern Dem. Rep. Congo (see comment). 


Dubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 315 (following Dubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 61), placed this in the Hoplobatrachus occipitalis group. Composed of two sibling species, according to Bogart and Tandy, 1976, Science, 193: 334–335, one of which, in Liberia, is tetraploid. See Salvador, 1996, Smithson. Herpetol. Inform. Serv., 109, for account. See Géniez, Mateo, and Bons, 2001 "2000", Herpetozoa, Wien, 13: 152, for Western Sahara record. Rödel, 2000, Herpetofauna W. Afr., 1: 145–152, Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 296–297, Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 268–270, Pickersgill, 2007, Frog Search: 111–112, and Lötters, Wagner, Bwong, Schick, Malonza, Muchai, Wasonga, and Veith, 2007, Fieldguide Amph. Rept. Kakamega Forest: 26–27, provided accounts. Padial and De la Riva, 2004, Rev. Esp. Herpetol., 18: 93, provided records from Mauritania. Schiøtz, 1963, Vidensk. Medd. Dansk Naturhist. Foren., 125: 25–26, provided records for Nigeria. Emms, Jambang, Bah, Mankali, Rödel, and Barnett, 2005, Herpetol. Bull., London, 94: 6–16, provided records for Gambia. Géniez, Mateo, Geniez, and Pether, 2004, Amph. Rept. W. Sahara: 42, provided a brief account for Western Sahara. Jackson and Blackburn, 2007, Salamandra, 43: 149–164, provided a record for Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, Rep. Congo. Jacobsen, 2009, Afr. Herp News, 47: 2–20, reported this species from east-north-central Central African Republic. See account, photograph, and map for Ethiopia by Largen and Spawls, 2010, Amph. Rept. Ethiopia Eritrea: 157–158. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 166–167, reported on comparative tadpole morphology. Reques, Pleguezuelos, Busack, and de Pous, 2013, Basic & Appl. Herpetol., 27: 23–50, discussed the range and conservation status in Western Sahara. Padial, Crochet, Géniez, and Brito, 2013, Basic & Appl. Herpetol., 27: 11–22, discussed systematics, distribution, and conservation status in Mauritania. Ibrahim, 2013, Basic & Appl. Herpetol., 27: 101–106, discussed ranges and population status in Libya, and suggested that the species may have been introduced into Libya and now extirpated.  Mateo, Géniez, and Pether, 2013, Basic & Appl. Herpetol., 27: 51–83, provided a range map, comments on the range and population status in Algeria. Jongsma, Tobi, Dixon-MacCallum, Bamba-Kaya, Yoga, Mbega, Mve Beh, Emrich, and Blackburn, 2017, Amph. Rept. Conserv., 11 (1: e144): 10, provided a record for southeastern Gabon and briefly discussed habitat and range. Marques, Ceríaco, Blackburn, and Bauer, 2018, Proc. California Acad. Sci., Ser. 4, 65 (Suppl. II): 157, provided a map for Angola and brief discussion of the literature. Nagy, Kusamba, Collet, and Gvoždík, 2013, Herpetol. Notes, 6:  413–419, provided a record from Bas-Congo, southwestern Dem. Rep. Congo. Sow, Gonçalves, Sousa, Martínez-Freiría, Santarém, Velo-Antón, Dieng, Campos, Diagne, Boratyński, and Brito, 2017, Basic & Appl. Herpetol., 31: 101–116, reported the species from extreme southeastern Mauritania. Dewynter, Chirio, Melki, Cordier, and Frétey, 2017, Cah. Fondation Biotope, 11: 13, provided a brief account and photographs of this species from the Mount Koumouna-Bouali area of Gabon. Dewynter and Frétey, 2019, Cah. Fondation Biotope, 27: 20, summarized the literature for Gabon and provided photographs (p. 54). Rödel and Glos, 2019, Zoosyst. Evol., 95: 21, reported this species from the Foya Proposed Protected Area in western Liberia. See detailed account for North Africa by Escoriza and Ben Hassine, 2019, Amph. N. Afr.: 184–189. Spawls, Wasonga, and Drewes, 2019, Amph. Kenya: 49, provided a photograph, range map, and brief characterization. Mali, Laudisoit, Yendema, Babangenge, Mukobya, Ewango, Katuala, Akaibe, Bongo, Anio, Ngbolua, and Tungaluna, 2019, Asian J. Res. Zool., 2(4): 1–11, reported specimens so identified from the Lendu Plateau of northeastern Dem. Rep. Congo; this identification requires confirmation. Mali, Banda, Kusamba, Babangenge, Sebe, Lokasola, Ewango, Tungaluna, and Akaibe, 2019, Am. J. Zool., 2: 38–43, reported the species from the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, northeastern Dem. Rep. Congo, again, the identification requires confirmation. Ernst, Lautenschläger, Branquima, and Hölting, 2020, Zoosyst. Evol., 96: 253, noted the presence in Uigé Province, northwestern Angola. Ayoro, Segniagbeto, Hema, Penner, Oueda, Dubois, Rödel, Kabré, and Ohler, 2020, Zoosystema, 42: 547–582, discussed records, identification, and habitat in Burkina Faso. Sampaio, Velo-Antón, Martínez-Freiría, Sánchez-Vialas, Pleguezuelos, Géniez, Crochet, and Brito, 2021, Conserv. Genetics, 22: 233–248, discussed possible cryptic species diversity in Mauritania. Kanga, Kouamé, Zogbass, Gongomin, Agoh, Kouamé, Konan, Adepo-Gourène, Gourène, and Rödel, 2021, Amph. Rept. Conserv., 15: 71–107, commented on conservation status, identification, range, and habitat on the Ivory Coast side of Mont Nimba. Kako-Wanzalire, Mongo, Ilonga, Mapoli, Mbumba, Neema, Tungaluna, Itoka, and Bogaert, 2021, Tropicultura, 39 (1: 1709): 1–19, briefly discussed habitat preference in north-central Dem. Rep. Congo. 

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