Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Males reach a snout-vent length of up to 28 mm. The largest female found was 34 mm. The fingers have expanded and truncated tips (Channing and Howell 2006), which might be an adaptation to climbing on plants. Coloration is sexually dimorphic and is also highly variable between individuals (Channing and Howell 2006). The upper body surface in males is brown to red and can be patterned; a faint lighter stripe can extend from the orbit along the parotid glands (Channing and Howell 2006) but is not always consistently present (Starnberger, pers. comm.). In contrast, the color of the upper surface in females is a rusty red with the center of the back being yellowish; females may also have a single black bar on each tibia and another black bar on each foot (Channing and Howell 2006). Barbour and Loveridge (1928) also reported a clear sexual dimorphism in ventral patterning, stating that the sides and ventral surface of the male are uniformly white or grey, whereas the females underside is translucent. In males, the underside of the body appears brighter than the dorsal skin (Starnberger et al. 2011).
N. tornieri was described by Roux (1906). The specific epithet honors the German herpetologist Gustav Tornier.
Some records from the Uluguru Mountains that are currently referred to N. tornieri may actually represent an undescribed species. In addition, some records from the West Usambara Mountains are thought to represent a second undescribed species (Loader et al. 2004).