Ptychadena pumilio (Boulenger, 1920)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Ptychadenidae > Genus: Ptychadena > Species: Ptychadena pumilio

Rana pumilio Boulenger, 1920, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 9, 6: 106. Syntypes: BMNH (2 specimens), by original designation, now numbered BMNH 1947.2.27.74–75 by museum records. Type locality: "Medine, Senegal".

Rana (Ptychadena) pumilioDe Witte, 1921, Rev. Zool. Afr., 9: 7; Guibé and Lamotte, 1957, Bull. Inst. Franç. Afr. Noire, Ser. A, 19: 947; Dubois, 1981, Monit. Zool. Ital., N.S., Suppl., 15: 233; by implication.

Ptychadena mascareniensis pumilioLamotte, 1968 "1967", Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. Paris, Ser. 2, 39: 654; Lamotte, 1967, Bull. Inst. Fondam. Afr. Noire, Ser. A, 29: 242.

Ptychadena pumilioDubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 56, by implication.

Ptychadena (Ptychadena) pumilioDubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 316.

English Names

Medine Grassland Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 105).

Dwarf Grass Frog (Ananjeva, Borkin, Darevsky, and Orlov, 1988, Dict. Amph. Rept. Five Languages: 127; Largen and Spawls, 2010, Amph. Rept. Ethiopia Eritrea: 173).

Spotted-throated Ridged Frog (Ananjeva, Borkin, Darevsky, and Orlov, 1988, Dict. Amph. Rept. Five Languages: 127).

Dwarf Rana (Ananjeva, Borkin, Darevsky, and Orlov, 1988, Dict. Amph. Rept. Five Languages: 127).

Little Rocket Frog (Emms, Jambang, Bah, Mankali, Rödel, and Barnett, 2005, Herpetol. Bull., London, 94: 11).

Pygmy Grass Frog (Jacobsen, 2009, Afr. Herp News, 47: 5).

Western Dwarf Grass Frog ( Channing and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 326).


Southern Mauritania and  Guinea-Bissau, throughout subsaharan West Africa into Burkina Faso and Cameroon, east through Central African Republic into South Sudan and Ethiopia, to 1900 m elevation; expected in Chad, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Niger, southern Sudan, Togo, and Uganda. See comment. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone

Likely/Controversially Present: Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Niger, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda


Regarded by some authors (e. g. Lamotte, 1969, Mem. Inst. Fond. Afr. Noire, 84: 422) as a subspecies of Ptychadena mascareniensis. Poynton and Broadley, 1985, Ann. Natal Mus., 27: 153, provided a brief characterization and discussion of taxonomic problems with Ptychadena taenioscelis. See account by Inger, 1968, Explor. Parc Natl. Garamba, Miss. H. de Saeger, 52: 84. Rödel, 2000, Herpetofauna W. Afr., 1: 90–95, provided an account. See comment under Ptychadena taenioscelis. Frétey and Blanc, 2002 "2001", Bull. Soc. Zool. France, 126: 385, reported this species from Gabon. Padial and De la Riva, 2004, Rev. Esp. Herpetol., 18: 96, suggested that this species will be found in southern Mauritania, but Sánchez-Vialas, Calvo-Revuelta, and Márquez, 2017, ZooKeys, 673: 125–133, did not report it there. Emms, Jambang, Bah, Mankali, Rödel, and Barnett, 2005, Herpetol. Bull., London, 94: 6–16, noted that no specific records had been published for Gambia. Rödel, Gil, Agyei, Leaché, Diaz, Fujita, and Ernst, 2005, Salamandra, 41: 107–127, noted a seemingly undescribed species, similar to Ptychadena pumilio, in Ivory Coast. 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: 173. Auliya, Wagner, and Böhme, 2012, Bonn Zool. Bull., 61: 255–281, reported the species from the Bijagós Archipelago, Guinea-Bissau. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 311–312, provided information on comparative larval morphology. 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, reported the species from Mauritania and discussed landscape genetics. Gansa, Agadjihouèdé, and Hounkanrin, 2023, Afr. Zool., 58: 39–56, reported the species from the lower Ouémé Valley, southeastern Benin, and briefly descried habitat preference.  

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