Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
A medium-sized Hyperolius with a maximum body length of about 33 mm. Pupil horizontal. The adult color pattern is extremely variable and has led to many systematic and nomenclatural uncertainties about this ‘superspecies’. Ongoing investigations into the ecology, call structure and genetics of populations from different parts of Africa will help to resolve the taxonomy of this group (Minter et al. 2004). The pattern varies from distinct stripes through to vermiculations, dots and splotches, and the colours of the patterns vary from dark brown or black through to yellow and peppermint green. Juvenile males appear to be overall brown during their first breeding season (see photograph of juveniles in combat).
For another description of H. marmoratus, see the H. viridiflavus superspecies account (by A. Schiøtz).
This species shows developmental changes in patterning, with two phases defined in Schiøtz (1999), J (juveniles and many mature males) and F (mature females and some mature males). All newly metamorphosed individuals are phase J, which is normally brownish to green with paired light dorsolateral lines, or an hourglass pattern. All females, and some males, develop into phase F before the first breeding season. Phase F is often colorful and variable, showing the diagnostic color characteristics for the species or subspecies. Either well-defined morphs may be present, or graded variation.