Hyperolius pusillus (Cope, 1862)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Hyperoliidae > Subfamily: Hyperoliinae > Genus: Hyperolius > Species: Hyperolius pusillus

Crumenifera pusilla Cope, 1862, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 14: 343. Type(s): Not designated; ANSP 11323 is holotype according to Malnate, 1971, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 123: 352. Type locality: "Umvoti", KwaZulu-Natal, Rep. South Africa. Given, apparently in error as "Umvoti, W. Africa" by Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 127.

Hyperolius heuglini Steindachner, 1864, Verh. Zool. Bot. Ges. Wien, 14: 244. Type(s): NHMW 32923 tentatively listed as holotype by Tiedemann and Grillitsch, 2000 "1999", Herpetozoa, Wien, 12: 148. Type locality: Abyssinia [= Ethiopia]. Provisional synonymy with Hyperolius microps by Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 127.

Rappia pusillaBoulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 127; Barbour, 1911, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 54: 133.

Hyperolius pusillusNoble, 1924, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 49: 251, 328; Loveridge, 1936, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 79: 407; Loveridge, 1953, Q. J. Florida Acad. Sci., 16: 147.

Hyperolius translucens Power, 1935, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1935: 339. Syntypes: MMK (2 specimens); BMNH records have 1947.2.11.29–39 (formerly 1934.10.8.8–10) as syntypes but this requires confirmation. Type locality: "Port St. Johns", Pondoland, Rep. South Africa. Synonymy by Loveridge, 1936, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 79: 372; Loveridge, 1938, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 51: 213–214; and  Ohler and Frétey, 2014, J. E. Afr. Nat. Hist., 103: 87. 

Hyperolius milnei Loveridge, 1935, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 79: 18. Holotype: MCZ 20025, by original designation. Type locality: "Witu, Coast Province, Kenya Colony". Synonymy by Loveridge, 1942, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 91: 379, 412.

English Names

Translucent Tree Frog (Hewitt, 1937, Guide Vert. Fauna E. Cape Province, Rept. Amph. Fishes: 111; Passmore and Carruthers, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 19: 7; Passmore and Carruthers, 1979, S. Afr. Frogs: 250).

Transparent Pigmy Sedge Frog (Ananjeva, Borkin, Darevsky, and Orlov, 1988, Dict. Amph. Rept. Five Languages: 73).

Water Lily Frog (Pienaar, 1963, Koedoe, 6: 81; Wager, 1965, Frogs S. Afr.: 204; Broadley, 1973, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 10: 24; Passmore and Carruthers, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 19: 7; Passmore and Carruthers, 1979, S. Afr. Frogs: 250; Lambiris, 1990 "1989", Monogr. Mus. Reg. Sci. Nat. Torino, 10: 167; Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 262).

Water Lily Reed Frog (Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 178).

Lily Pad Frog (Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 16).

Dwarf Reed Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 68).

Water Lily Reed Frog (Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 176).


Open swamp vegetation of southernmost coastal Somalia south along coastal lowlands of Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique) to extreme eastern Eastern Cape Province, Rep. South Africa; inland through Malawi and into Zimbabwe through the Zambesi Valley. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe


Poynton and Broadley, 1987, Ann. Natal Mus., 28: 205, noted that Zambian records are referable to Hyperolius viridis. See brief taxonomic discussion of Poynton, 1964, Ann. Natal Mus., 17: 191–192, and accounts by  Schiøtz, 1999, Treefrogs Afr.: 185–186, Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 176–177, Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 178–179, Alexander, 2004, in Minter et al. (eds.), Atlas Frogs S. Afr. Lesotho and Swaziland: 146–147, Pickersgill, 2007, Frog Search: 346–349 (who implied a cryptic species exists in Malawi), and Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 262–263. Mercurio, 2011, Amph. Malawi: 183–185, provided an account for Malawi. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 220–221, discussed comparative larval morphology. Harper, Measey, Patrick, Menegon, and Vonesh, 2010, Field Guide Amph. E. Arc Mts. Tanzania and Kenya: 198–199, provided a brief account and photograph. Marques, Ceríaco, Blackburn, and Bauer, 2018, Proc. California Acad. Sci., Ser. 4, 65 (Suppl. II): 111–112, provided a map for Angola and a brief account, noting that the Angolan specimens needed to be reviewed and also implied that the records likely were misidentifications. Phaka, Netherlands, Kruger, and Du Preez, 2017, Bilingual Field Guide Frogs Zululand: 44, provided a photograph, Zululand regional map, and a brief account of life history and identification. Spawls, Wasonga, and Drewes, 2019, Amph. Kenya: 23, provided a range map for Kenya, photograph, and brief characterization. See Hyperolius albofrenatus which is a likely synonym.

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