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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Amphibia
Subclassis: Lissamphibia
Ordo: Anura

Familia: Hyperoliidae
Genus: Acanthixalus
Species: A. sonjae - A. spinosus


Acanthixalus Laurent, 1944

Type species: Hyperolius spinosus Buchholz & Peters, 1875

Laurent, 1944, Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 38: 111.
Amphibian Species of the World 5.1 Acanthixalus access date 30 May 2008

Vernacular names
English: African Wart Frogs

Acanthixalus, commonly known as the African wart frogs, is a small genus of frogs in the family Hyperoliidae. They occur in rainforests of West and Middle Africa, from Ivory Coast to Congo.[1]


The genus contains two species:[1][2][3]

Acanthixalus sonjae Rödel, Kosuch, Veith, and Ernst, 2003
Acanthixalus spinosus (Buchholz and Peters, 1875)


Both species are very similar in their size and appearance. The only significant morphological difference between then is the wider relative head width in males of A. sonjae compared to A. spinosus. Average adult size is about 35 mm (1.4 in) in snout–vent length, with largest individuals nearly 39 mm (1.5 in) SVL. Males and females are similar in size, but males have a pair of elongate gular glands, larger discs on toes and fingers, and a large number of tarsal spines.[4]

Ecology and behaviour

Acanthixalus live in water-filled cavities of living trees and on tree trunks, from near the ground level to about 5 m above the ground. Acanthixalus have been found in a variety of wooded habitats: secondary and primary forests, both dry and swampy, as well as from a cacao plantation; the main habitat requirement is the presence of large, water-filled cavities.[4]

The tadpoles develop in the cavities. The development time is relatively long, three months or more.[4] While A. spinosus tadpoles are detritivores,[2] those of A. sonjae seem to thrive better with arthropod diet; cannibalism has not been observed.[4]

Both species appear to be mute. It has been speculated that they use olfactory orientation for finding mates instead.[4]


Frost, Darrel R. (2016). "Acanthixalus Laurent, 1944". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
"Acanthixalus spinosus". AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. 2001. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
"Acanthixalus Laurent, 1944". African Amphibians. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Kosuch, Joachim; Veith, Michael; Ernst, Raffael (March 2003). "First record of the genus Acanthixalus Laurent, 1944 from the upper Guinean rain forest, West Africa, with the description of a new species". Journal of Herpetology. 37 (1): 43–52. doi:10.1670/0022-1511(2003)037[0043:FROTGA]2.0.CO;2.

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