Arum frog

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Arum frog
Hyperolius horstockii.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Hyperoliidae
Genus: Hyperolius
Species: H. horstockii
Binomial name
Hyperolius horstockii
(Schlegel, 1837)

The arum frog (Hyperolius horstockii) is a species of frog in the Hyperoliidae family endemic to South Africa.[1]

Identification[edit]

Adults grow to 40 mm in length. They have bright orange feet and can change their colour to camouflage themselves. The top of the body is cream to brown, sometimes with small black spots. A distinctive, pale, dorsolateral line runs from the snout along the flanks, with a dark-brown lateral band underneath. A fine, dark line usually separates the pale line from the brown band. The concealed surfaces of limbs, webbing, and discs are orange to red. Underneath, the frog is creamy white and slightly granular. The gular flap in males is bright ochre. their pupils are horizontal.

Tadpoles reach 40 mm. They are brown with longitudinal, darker bands on their tails.

Habitat[edit]

Its natural habitats are Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, rivers, swamps, intermittent freshwater lakes, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marshes, and ponds. It is frequently found lying at the bottom of arum lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica), trying to catch pollinating insects.[2] It is threatened by habitat loss.

Behaviour[edit]

These frogs are sometimes found in arum lily flowers where they can change colour to perfectly match their surroundings. This makes them virtually invisible to predators, as well as to their insect prey. They use the pollen of the flowers to camouflage themselves. At night, they creep out of the flower and down the stem to hunt for insects.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Minter, L., Channing, A. & Harrison, J. 2004. Hyperolius horstockii. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 22 July 2007.
  2. ^ Kingdon, Jonathan (1989). Island Africa: The Evolution of Africa's Rare Plants and Animals. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 55–58. ISBN 0-691-08560-9.