oa African Zoology - Comparison of toe pads of some southern African climbing frogs

Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



The morphology of the toe pads of eight species of Hyperolius (Hyperoliidae), Chiromantis xerampelina, Leptopelis natalensis and Kassina maculata (Rhacophoridae) was examined using a scanning electron microscope. Disc width, margin width and toe pad cell size are variable in Hyperolius, but not directly related to frog size. The rhacophorids were found to have type II mucous pores, contradicting earlier findings. SEM work on toe pads is not taxonomically useful at the species level. We suggest that the circumferal groove may playa role in retaining liquid essential for the adhesion of tree-frog toe pads to smooth surfaces.

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