Hylarana darlingi (Boulenger, 1902)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Ranidae > Genus: Hylarana > Species: Hylarana darlingi

Rana darlingi Boulenger, 1902, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1902: 15. Syntypes: BMNH (2 specimens), by original designation; these being BMNH 1947.2.2.67–68 (originally numbered 1902.2.12.114-115), by museum records. Type locality: "Mazöe and between Umtali [Mutare] and Marandellas [= Marondera]", Mashonaland, Zimbabwe.

Rana (Rana) darlingiMonard, 1937 "1936", Bull. Soc. Neuchatel. Sci. Nat., 62: 44.

Hylarana darlingiPoynton, 1964, Ann. Natal Mus., 17: 119.

Rana (Hylarana) darlingiDubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 42, by implication.

Rana (Amnirana) darlingiDubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 324.

Amnirana darlingiChanning, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 266; Fei, Ye, and Jiang, 2010, Herpetol. Sinica, 12: 33. See comment under Ranidae record.

Hydrophylax darlingiFrost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297: 368.

Hylarana darlingiChe, Pang, Zhao, Wu, Zhao, and Zhang, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 43: 1-13, by implication; Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 461, by implication.

Amnirana darlingi —  Oliver, Prendini, Kraus, and Raxworthy, 2015, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 90: 187. 

English Names

Golden-backed Frog (Broadley, 1971, Puku, 6: 113; Broadley, 1973, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 10: 23; Lambiris, 1990 "1989", Monogr. Mus. Reg. Sci. Nat. Torino, 10: 100).

Darling's Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 107).

Darling's Golden-backed Frog (Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 15; Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 452).

Darling's White-lipped Frog (Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 266).


Savannas of Katanga Province (Dem. Rep. Congo), extreme northern Botswana and adjacent Namibia, Zimbabwe, southern Malawi, and western Mozambique; reported from northeastern Dem. Rep. Congo. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Botswana, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe


Records from Angola and western Zambia presumably apply to Hylarana adiscifera, recognized as distinct in 2023. Sole member of the Rana (Amnirana) darlingi group of Dubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 324. See Poynton, 1964, Ann. Natal Mus., 17: 119, and Perret, 1977, Rev. Suisse Zool., 84: 843. See also Laurent, 1964, Publ. Cult. Companhia Diamantes Angola, 67: 132. See accounts by Poynton and Broadley, 1985, Ann. Natal Mus., 27: 139-140 (as Hylarana darlingi). Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 266-268, and Pickersgill, 2007, Frog Search: 87-88 (as Amnirana darlingi), and Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 452-453. Mercurio, 2011, Amph. Malawi: 298-299, provided an account for Malawi. Conradie, Tweddle, Mäkinen, and Bills, 2012, Zootaxa, 3441: 56-58. reported on larval morphology. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 364, provided information on comparative larval morphology. See range map provided by Jongsma, Barej, Barratt, Burger, Conradie, Ernst, Greenbaum, Hirschfeld, Leaché, Penner, Portik, Zassi-Boulou, Rödel, and Blackburn, 2018, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 120: 275. Marques, Ceríaco, Blackburn, and Bauer, 2018, Proc. California Acad. Sci., Ser. 4, 65 (Suppl. II): 158–160, provided a map for Angola and brief discussion of the literature. Mali, Banda, Chifundera, Badjedjea, 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, but this identification requires confirmation. Channing and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 388–389, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map.

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