Afrixalus fulvovittatus (Cope, 1861)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Hyperoliidae > Subfamily: Hyperoliinae > Genus: Afrixalus > Species: Afrixalus fulvovittatus

Hyperolius fulvovittatus Cope, 1861 "1860", Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 12: 517. Holotype: ANSP 3219, according to Malnate, 1971, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 123: 350. Type locality: "Liberia".

Hyperolius fulvovittatusBarboza du Bocage, 1866, J. Sci. Math. Phys. Nat., Lisboa, 1 (1): 55.

Rappia fulvovittataGünther, 1869 "1868", Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1868: 479; Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 121.

Hyperolius fulvovittatusNoble, 1924, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 49: 252; Ahl, 1931, Das Tierreich, 55: 330.

Megalixalus fulvovittatusBarbour and Loveridge, 1930, in Strong (ed.), Afr. Rep. Liberia Belgian Congo, 2: 782.

Hyperolius brevipalmatus Ahl, 1931, Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berlin, 17: 25. Holotype: ZMB 24499 according to Perret, 1962, Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 65: 246, and  Tillack, de Ruiter, and Rödel, 2021, Zoosyst. Evol., Berlin, 97: 419. Type locality: "Sangmelina Süd Kamerun". The description in Ahl, 1931, Das Tierreich, 55: 278, appeared subsequently according to Tillack, de Ruiter, and Rödel, 2021, Zoosyst. Evol., Berlin, 97: 419. Synonymy with Afrixalus fulvovittatus by Loveridge, 1936, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 79: 371; Perret, 1962, Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 65: 246. Assigned by implication to Afrixalus "quadrivittatus" by Pickersgill, 2007, Afr. J. Herpetol., 56: 23-37. See comment. Regarded as a subspecies of Afrixalus fulvovittatus by Amiet, 2009, Rev. Suisse Zool., 116: 77.

Afrixalus fulvovittatus fulvovittatusLaurent, 1951, Ann. Soc. R. Zool. Belg., 82: 27.

Afrixalus brevipalmatusLasso, Rial, Castroviejo, and De la Riva, 2002, Graellsia, 58: 21-34, and Tillack, de Ruiter, and Rödel, 2021, Zoosyst. Evol., Berlin, 97: 419. Unexplained arrangement. 

Afrixalus fulvovittatus brevipalmatusAmiet, 2009, Rev. Suisse Zool., 116: 77. See comment.

English Names

Banded Banana Frog (Afrixalus fulvovittatus: Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 65).

Four-lined Spiny Reed Frog (Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 135).

Four-lined Leaf-folding Frog (Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 135 [alternative name]).

Striped Spiny Reed Frog (Emms, Jambang, Bah, Mankali, Rödel, and Barnett, 2005, Herpetol. Bull., London, 94: 13).

Banded Spiny Reed Frog (Channing and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 154). 


Provisional: southern Guinea, northern Liberia and Sierra Leone to western Ivory Coast, possibly to Gambia; with less taxonomic confidence to southern to north-central Cameroon and Gabon, Rep. Congo and western Dem R. Congo, and to western Central African Republic; likely in adjacent Equatorial Guinea. See comment regarding records from East Africa and the general disarray of the systematics surrounding this name. 

Geographics occurrence

Natural resident: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Congo, Republic of the, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone

Likely/controversial occurrence in political unit: Equatorial Guinea


Pickersgill, 2007, Afr. J. Herpetol., 56: 23-37, redelimited and restricted application of this name to a species of the Guinea-Liberia-Sierra Leone-Ivory Coast block of West Africa, relegating an enormous number of records to Afrixalus "quadrivittatus". Pickersgill, Schiøtz, and Rödel in Afrixalus fulvovittatus IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, 2004, Global Amph. Assessment, restricted the distribution to eastern Sierra Leone, southern Guinea, northern Liberia, and western Ivory Coast, thereby leaving an enormous number of records throughout the wider range implicitly unassigned to species. Schiøtz, 1999, Treefrogs Afr.: 59-62, discussed the uncertainty of previous species diagnoses within this complex of poorly understood species and discussed the geographically complex variation; he also discussed the serious nomenclatural confusion in the use of the name leptosomus for a race of Afrixalus dorsalis or a component of variation within Afrixalus fulvovittatus. Literature using these names should be followed cautiously. See also Perret, 1976, Bull. Soc. Neuchatel. Sci. Nat., 99: 20-23. Rödel, 2000, Herpetofauna W. Afr., 1: 232-238, provided an account and discussed various confusions in the literature and addressed the problem of application of the name Megalixalus leptosomus. Gambia record by Barnett, Emms, and Santoni, 2001, Herpetol. Bull., London, 77: 9. The systematics of this taxon is confused; see discussion of the problems by Largen, 2001, Tropical Zool., 14: 357-358. De la Riva, 1994, Rev. Esp. Herpetol., 8: 129, provided the record for Equatorial Guinea. Köhler, Scheelke, Schick, Veith, and Lötters, 2005, Afr. Zool., 40: 127-142, described the advertisement call and discussed confusion with Afrixalus leptosomus and Afrixalus quadrivittatus and the uncertainty of the range. Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 135-136, provided an account for East African populations and extended the range into East Africa (but who noted that the East and West African populations were likely distinct species). Padial and De la Riva, 2004, Rev. Esp. Herpetol., 18: 96, suggested that this species will be found in southern Mauritania. Lasso, Rial, Castroviejo, and De la Riva, 2002, Graellsia, 58: 21-34, provided notes on ecological distribution in Equatorial Guinea (as Afrixalus brevipalmatus). Emms, Jambang, Bah, Mankali, Rödel, and Barnett, 2005, Herpetol. Bull., London, 94: 6-16, noted that Gambia records apply to an unnamed species. Segniagbeto, Bowessidjaou, Dubois, and Ohler, 2007, Alytes, 24: 76, did not list this species as occurring in Togo. See comments by Rödel, Gil, Agyei, Leaché, Diaz, Fujita, and Ernst, 2005, Salamandra, 41: 117-118. Pickersgill, 2007, Afr. J. Herpetol., 56: 23-37, revised and redelimited the species. Jacobsen, 2009, Afr. Herp News, 47: 2-20, reported this species from east-north-central Central African Republic but noted that this was provisional. Amiet, 2009, Rev. Suisse Zool., 116: 53, considered Afrixalus brevipalmatus to be conspecific (but a subspecies) with Afrixalus fulvovittatus. Amiet, 2009, Rev. Suisse Zool., 116: 53-92, discussed the complex taxonomic issues in Cameroon. See account for Cameroon by Amiet, 2012, Rainettes Cameroun: 92-101. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 188–189, reported on comparative tadpole morphology. Marques, Ceríaco, Blackburn, and Bauer, 2018, Proc. California Acad. Sci., Ser. 4, 65 (Suppl. II): 85–86, provided a map for Angola and a brief account, noting the so-far unaddressed taxonomic uncertainties surrounding the nominal species, which following Pickersgill, 2007, Afr. J. Herpetol., 56: 23-37, have the Angolan records currently assigned to Afrixalus "quadrivittatus". Deichmann, Mulcahy, Vanthomme, Tobi, Wynn, Zimkus, and McDiarmid, 2017, PLoS One, 12 (11: e0187283): 17, suggested on molecular grounds that this nominal species may represent two lineages, one unnamed. Dewynter and Frétey, 2019, Cah. Fondation Biotope, 27: 21, summarized the literature for Gabon and noted the taxonomic disarray of the group.. Rödel and Glos, 2019, Zoosyst. Evol., 95: 21, reported this species from the Krahn-Bassa Proposed Protected Area in southeastern Liberia. Spawls, Wasonga, and Drewes, 2019, Amph. Kenya: 18, provided a range map for Kenya, photograph, and brief characterization; the status of this record requires verification (DRF). Channing and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 154–155, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map (including western Central African Republic, Rep. Congo, and western Dem. Rep. Congo), and noted an apparently unnamed species which they terms Afrixalus aff. fulvovittatus (Eastern Banded Spiny Reed Frog) of eastern Nigeria possibly to northern Angola and with its eastern boundary undetermined. Portik, Bell, Blackburn, Bauer, Barratt, Branch, Burger, Channing, Colston, Conradie, Dehling, Drewes, Ernst, Greenbaum, Gvoždík, Harvey, Hillers, Hirschfeld, Jongsma, Kielgast, Kouete, Lawson, Leaché, Loader, Lötters, van der Meijden, Menegon, Müller, Nagy, Ofori-Boateng, Ohler, Papenfuss, Rößler, Sinsch, Rödel, Veith, Vindum, Zassi-Boulou, and McGuire, 2019, Syst. Biol., 68: 859–875, implied that this nominal species is a complex. Mali, Laudisoit, Yendema, Badjedjea, 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. See brief account, range map, and photographs 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: 419, discussed the holotype, the collection data, and the collector. Nečas, Kielgast, Nagy, Chifundera, and Gvoždík, 2022, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 174 (107514): 1–11, provided a molecular tree that suggests that this nominal species is composed of at least 2 species. 

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