IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)


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Common reed frog

Hyperolius viridiflavus tree frog from Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo

The common reed frog (Hyperolius viridiflavus) is a species of tree frogs in the Hyperoliidae family found in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, and possibly the Central African Republic, Chad, and Eritrea. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, dry savanna, moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, rivers, swamps, freshwater lakes, intermittent freshwater lakes, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marshes, freshwater springs, arable land, pastureland, rural gardens, urban areas, heavily degraded former forests, water storage areas, ponds, irrigated land, seasonally flooded agricultural land, and canals and ditches.

These west African frogs have been known to spontaneously change sex from male to female.[2] This likely occurs when the population does not have enough males to allow procreation and is accomplished when a chemical trigger activates the sex gene to disintegrate the female organs and develop the male ones.[3]

In Popular Culture[edit]

In the 1993 movie, Jurassic Park, and the novel of the same name on which it is based, the genetic gaps in the dinosaurs' DNA were filled with that of the Common Reed Frog. This is how the dinosaurs were able to breed as seen by the velociraptor eggs in the first movie.


  1. ^ Schiøtz, A., Channing, A., Poynton, J.C. & Largen, M. 2004. Hyperolius viridiflavus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 22 July 2007.
  2. ^ Grafe, T. U.; K. E. Linsenmair (1989). "Protogynous sex change in the reed frog: Hyrperolius viridiflavus". Copeia 4 (4): 1024–1029. doi:10.2307/1445989. JSTOR 1445989. 
  3. ^ Frogs that change sex


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