Acanthixalus spinosus (Buchholz and Peters, 1875)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Hyperoliidae > Subfamily: Acanthixalinae > Genus: Acanthixalus > Species: Acanthixalus spinosus

Hyperolius spinosus Buchholz and Peters in Peters, 1875, Monatsber. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1875: 208. Syntype(s): ZMB 8359 (4 specimens), according to Bauer, Günther, and Klipfel, 1995, in Bauer et al. (eds.), Herpetol. Contr. W.C.H. Peters: 44, these now numbered ZMB 8359 and ZMB 59353–59355 (formerly part of ZMB 8359), according to Tillack, de Ruiter, and Rödel, 2021, Zoosyst. Evol., Berlin, 97: 435, who rejected the syntype status of 2 specimens in ZMG reported by Herrmann, 1989, Veröff. Naturhist. Mus. Schleusingen, 4: 13. Type locality: "Cameruns" (= Cameroon). Type locality discussed and corrected to "Douala", Region Littoral, Cameroon, by Frétey, Dubois, and Ohler, 2014, Alytes, 30: 11–28. 

Megalixalus spinosusBoulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 130.

Megalixalus (Acanthixalus) spinosusLaurent, 1944, Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 38: 110-138.

Acanthixalus spinosusLaurent, 1950, Explor. Parc Natl. Albert, Miss. G.F. de Witte (1933–1935), 64: 14, by implication.

English Names

African Wart Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 65).

Central African Spiny Frog (Channing and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 130).


Rainforests of southeastern Nigeria and southern Cameroon to northeastern Dem. Rep. Congo, and from Cameroon south through Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Rep. Congo to extreme western Dem. Rep. Congo; possibly extending into southwestern Central African Republic and the Cabinda enclave of Angola; a seemingly isolated record south of the Congo River near the western boundary of Parc National de la Salonga Sud, on the Loko River, Bandulu Province, Dem. Rep. Congo. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Congo, Republic of the, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria

Likely/Controversially Present: Angola, Central African Republic


For new records see Largen and Dowsett-Lemaire, 1991, Tauraco Res. Rept., 4: 154. Schiøtz, 1963, Vidensk. Medd. Dansk Naturhist. Foren., 125: 61, provided a record for Nigeria. See account for Cameroon by Amiet, 2012, Rainettes Cameroun: 53-64.Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 184, reported on comparative tadpole morphology. Baptista, Conradie, Vaz Pinto, and Branch, 2019, In Huntley, Russo, Lages, and Ferrand (eds.), Biodiversity in Angola: 258, doubted that this species will be found in Cabinda, Angola. Dewynter and Frétey, 2019, Cah. Fondation Biotope, 27: 20, summarized the literature for Gabon. Channing and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 130–131, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map. See brief account, range map for Equatorial Guinea in Sánchez-Vialas, Calvo-Revuelta, Castroviejo-Fisher, and De la Riva, 2020, Proc. California Acad. Sci., Ser. 4, 66: 137–230. Tillack, de Ruiter, and Rödel, 2021, Zoosyst. Evol., Berlin, 97: 435, discussed the collection and provenance of the primary ZMB types. Blackburn, Dérozier, Djaman, Greenbaum, and Jongsma, 2022, Herpetol. Notes, 15: 641–647, provided a record from south of the Congo River at near the western boundary of Parc National de la Salonga Sud, Bandulu Province, Dem. Rep. Congo, but noting that the identification is provisional. The authors also discussed the known localities for this species with reference to conservation priorities and provided a dot map for its distribution. 

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