Hemisus marmoratus (Peters, 1854)

Ayoro, Halamoussa Joëlle, Segniagbeto, Gabriel Hoinsoudé, Hema, Emmanuel Midibahaye, Penner, Johannes, Oueda, Adama, Dubois, Alain, Rödel, Mark-Oliver, Kabré, Gustave Boureima & Ohler, Annemarie, 2020, List of amphibian species (Vertebrata, Tetrapoda) of Burkina Faso, Zoosystema 42 (28), pp. 547-582: 557-558

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.5252/zoosystema2020v42a28

publication LSID




persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Hemisus marmoratus (Peters, 1854)


Hemisus marmoratus (Peters, 1854)  

( Fig. 4A View FIG )

COLLECTION MATERIAL. — Burkina Faso   3♂ ( SVL 26.8-31.8 mm), 4 ♀ ( SVL 33.3-36.4 mm); Passoré province , Samba; 12.70144°N, – 2.40390°W; 290 m a.s.l.; 14.VII.1962; M. Lamotte leg.; MNHNRA-1979.156, 1979.159, 1979.160, 1979.162, 1979.152, 1979.154, 1979.155 GoogleMaps   29 tadpoles; Samba ; I.1963; (12.701480°N, – 2.40537°W; 290 m a.s.l.; M. Lamotte leg.; MNHN-RA-2006.4833, 2006.4834, 2006.4835, 2006.4836, 2006.4837, 2006.4838, 2006.4839, 2006.4840, 2006.4841, 2006.4842, 2006.4843, 2006.4844, 2006.4845, 2006.4846, 2006.4847, 2006.4848, 2006.4849, 2006.4850, 2006.4851, 2006.4852, 2006.4853, 2006.4854, 2006.4855, 2006.4856, 2006.4857, 2006.4858, 2006.4859, 2006.4860, 2006.4861. GoogleMaps  

FIELD MATERIAL. — Burkina Faso   3 ♂ ( SVL 29.2-30.6 mm); Comoé-Léraba Forest , Baboro swampy valley; 9.92521°N, – 4.57574°W; 240 m a.s.l.; 4.VIII.2018; H. J. Ayoro & A. Ohler leg.; under grasses close to a small water body; hand capture GoogleMaps   1 ♀ ( SVL 41.7 mm); Koubri , “Ancien barrage”; 12.22882°N, – 1.34527°W; 285 m a.s.l.; 16.VII.2017; same collectors as for preceding; at edge of a paddy field; hand capture GoogleMaps   1 ♀ ( SVL 41.3 mm); W National Park ; 11.95738°N, 2.01381°E; 290 m a.s.l.; 20. VI.2018; H. J. Ayoro leg.; near a trail; hand capture GoogleMaps   1 ♀ ( SVL 30.3 mm); Dori , 300 m from the N’Djomga village pond; 14.07222°N, – 0.04860°W; 270 m a.s.l. 25.VIII.2018; same collector as for preceding; at the border of a millet field; hand capture GoogleMaps   1 subadult ( SVL 26.7 mm); Yakouta , downstream from the Yakouta dam; 14.07452°N, – 0.14290°W; 280 m a.s.l.; 26.VIII.2018; same collector as for preceding; near the asphalted road; hand capture GoogleMaps   1 subadult ( SVL 26.2 mm); Koti ; 11.38778°N, – 3.06400°W; 310 m a.s.l.; 15.IX.2018; same collector as for preceding; in a bean field; hand capture GoogleMaps   1 ♂; Arly National Park , floodplain; 11.57851°N, 1.46000°E; 260 m a.s.l.; 16. VI.2018; same collector as for preceding; near a small water body surrounded by grasses; acoustic report GoogleMaps   2 ♂; W National Park ; the edge of a small pond (1 km south-west of the Kabougou forest post office); 11.93671°N, 1.99463°E; 310 m a.s.l.; 21. VI.2018; same collector as for preceding; acoustic report GoogleMaps   .

LITERATURE REPORTS. — Burkina Faso • Passoré province, Yako : 12.96740°N, – 2.26151°W; 330 m a.s.l.; 1962 ( SchiØtz 1967) GoogleMaps   Bobo-Dioulasso, halfway between Bobo-Dioulasso and Ouagadougou ; coordinates not available; 31.VII.1992 ( Böhme et al. 1996)   Gourma province, Fada N’gourma; 12.06051°N, 0.34913°E; 300 m a.s.l. (Mohneke 2011; Mohneke et al. 2011) GoogleMaps   Ganzourgou province, Mogtedo ; 12.31844°N, – 0.83601°W; 280 m a.s.l. (Mohneke 2011; Mohneke et al. 2011) GoogleMaps   Zam; 12.32885°N, – 0.82631°W; 280 m a.s.l; (Mohneke 2011; Mohneke et al. 2011); GoogleMaps   Zorgho; 12.2483°N, – 0.6278°W; 300 m a.s.l.; I-III.2008 ( Mohneke et al. 2010b; Mohneke 2011; Mohneke et al. 2011) GoogleMaps   Houet province, Karankasso vigué; 11.00978°N, – 3.90001°W; 300 m a.s.l.; 2015 ( Böhme & Heath 2018) GoogleMaps   .

DESCRIPTION. — 15 specimens examined. Small frogs with a triangular head and a very pointed and short snout. Morphologically sturdy with strong limbs, adapted for burrowing ( Fig. 4A View FIG ). Skin soft and smooth ( Laurent 1972; Rödel 2000). Dorsal colouration of living frogs yellowish with some dark brown spots on the back. In alcohol, yellow colour whitish dorsally and ventrally.

HABITAT. — Hemisus marmoratus   was difficult to see during our survey periods and is probably much more abundant in convenient habitat and at the right saison. We found this fossorial species in the vicinity of a paddy field on the “Ancien barrage” edge in Koubri, on a trail leading to a small water body in W National Park. We heard the male calling under flooded grasses around a pond (1 km southwest of the Kabougou forest post office) in W National Park. The species was also found in Baboro swampy valley in Comoé-Léraba where males could be heard calling among grasses nearby a small water body in Folonzo village swampy valley on 6 August 2018. This was unusual as Hemisus   usually breeds in the early rainy season or even before the rains set in (see e.g. Rödel et al. 1995; Kaminsky et al. 1999). In a floodplain near Bouliabou pond, we heard males calling and recorded three males in Arly National Park. In the Sahelian part, we captured this species during rainy weather on sandy soils close to a millet field in N’Djomga and on the roadside in Yakouta. Hemisus marmoratus   is mostly fossorial, in relatively moist, loose soils and is often captured during earthworks such as plowing fields ( Lamotte & Xavier 1981; Rödel 2000).

The species is common and reported having a wide distribution range from West Africa south to Angola and South Africa ( Laurent 1972; Rödel 2000). However, several cryptic taxa are probably mixed under this name (M.-O. Rödel, unpublished data).


Mykotektet, National Veterinary Institute