oa Annals of the Natal Museum - Herpetofauna of the Nyika Plateau (Malawi and Zambia)

Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0304-0798



The Nyika is a large grassland plateau in east central Africa. It is over 750 square miles in area and 6,500-8,551 feet in elevation. Principal community types on the plateau are: grasslands, marshes, streams, ponds, rocky outcrops, montane evergreen forests and forest margins. Uapaca-Brachystegia woodlands border the gently undulating plateau. Included in the plateau communities are 11 species of amphibians, 6 lizards, 1 chameleon, and 9 snakes. Five of these species are known only from the plateau which supports several endemic plants, birds, and mammals. Herpetological collections and studies made during 1962-1964 are the first on the plateau since those of Loveridge in 1948, and cover the longest observation period made there. Species accounts, as well as ecological descriptionptions, are given; they include collection data, measurements, and observations on abundance, seasonal and breeding activity, eggs, larvae, calls and color variation. New records for the plateau are: Xenopus l. laevis, Bufo pusillus, Ptychadena porosissima, P. uzungwensis, Hyperolius nasutus, H. mertensi, Chamaesaura miopropus, Python sebae, Lycophidion capense, Pseudaspis cana, Atheris nitschei rungweensis.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error