Power’s Long Reed Frog (Hyperolius poweri)

View the above photo record (by Jean-Paul Brouard) in FrogMAP here.

Find the Power’s Long Reed Frog in the FBIS database (Freshwater Biodiversity Information System) here.

Family Hyperoliidae

POWER’S LONG REED FROG – Hyperolius poweri

Loveridge, 1938


This species inhabits the Savanna and Grassland biomes. In South Africa it occurs at or near sea level in Coastal Bushveld-Grassland. It breeds in shallow coastal pans, vleis and inundated grassland with dense, emergent and/or littoral vegetation – in particular, the sedges Eleocharis limosa and Cyperus papyrus (Poynton 1964; Lambiris 1989a; Passmore and Carruthers 1995; pers. obs.). In Malawi it has been found in dense, emergent vegetation associated with marshes, ponds and streams in open and wooded country, and on the edge of forest, from the lakeshore at an altitude of 475 m, up to 2286 m on the Nyika Plateau (Stewart 1967; A. Turner pers. obs.). In Zimbabwe it has been found breeding in pans and flooded grassland (A. Turner pers. comm.).


Very little is known about the behavioural ecology of this species during the non-breeding season. Breeding takes place in the wet season (Stewart 1967). During the day, adults sit in exposed positions on emergent vegetation, parallel to the stem or leaf blade, but dive into the water when disturbed. In the afternoon, and at night, males call from elevated positions, near the tops of sedges and reeds, and frequently engage in territorial disputes (Wager 1965; Stewart 1967; Razetti and Msuya 2002; A. Turner pers. comm.).

Females deposit 60–292 eggs, in groups of 2–20, on submerged leaves or roots. Tadpoles leave the egg capsule about five days later (Wager 1965).

Predators include various birds, snakes, terrapins, spiders and other frogs, while prey consists mainly of flying insects (pers. obs.).

Hyperolius poweri – Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal
Photo by Jean-Paul Brouard

Status and Conservation

A major threat to H. acuticeps is habitat loss through the drainage of wetlands for agricultural and urban development. In several areas in KwaZulu-Natal, Eucalyptus plantations have lowered the water table to such a degree that many coastal pans have completely disappeared; as a result, the species’ range has been considerably diminished during the past c.15 years. With the exception of populations within nature reserves, the species is now encountered only rarely; in the past, it was much more common and widespread.

This species occurs in several established provincial reserves and protected areas and does not appear to require any further conservation action. However, because of recent declines, it is recommended that protected populations be monitored.

Hyperolius poweri – Umlalazi Nature Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal
Photo by Ryan van Huysteen


H.poweri occurs in a narrow band down the east coast. It ranges from southern Mozambique and down the length of the KwaZulu-Natal coast, extending marginally into the Eastern Cape.

Distribution of Hyperolius poweri. Taken from the FrogMAP database, April 2022.

Further Resources

Virtual Museum (FrogMAP > Search VM > By Scientific or Common Name)

More common names: Sharp-nosed Reed Frog, Long Reed Freog (Alternative English Names); Power se Skerpneusrietpadda (Afrikaans)

Recommended citation format for this species text:

Bishop PJ, Tippett RM.  Power’s Long Reed Frog Hyperolius poweri. BDI, Cape Town.
Available online at http://thebdi.org/2022/04/04/powers-long-reed-frog-hyperolius-poweri/

Recommended citation format: 

This species text has been updated and expanded from the text in the
2004 frog atlas. The reference to the text and the book are as follows:

Bishop PJ 2004 Hyperolius acuticeps Sharp-nosed Reed Frog. In Minter LR
et al 2004.

Minter LR, Burger M, Harrison JA, Braack HH, Bishop PJ, Kloepfer D (eds)
2004. Atlas and Red Data Book of  the Frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and
Swaziland. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, and Avian Demography
Unit, Cape Town.

Hyperolius poweri – Trafalgar, KwaZulu-Natal
Photo by Joan Young

Ryan Tippett
Ryan Tippett
Ryan is an enthusiastic contributor to Citizen Science and has added many important and interesting records of fauna and flora. He has been a member of the Virtual Museum since 2014 and has currently submitted over 12,000 records. He is on the expert identification panel for the OdonataMAP project. Ryan is a well-qualified and experienced Field Guide, and Guide Training Instructor. He has spent the last 18 years in the guiding and tourism industries. Ryan loves imparting his passion and knowledge onto others, and it is this that drew him into guide training in particular. Something that he finds incredibly rewarding is seeing how people he's had the privilege of teaching have developed and gone on to greater things. His interests are diverse and include Dragonflies, Birding, Arachnids, Amphibians, wild flowers and succulents, free diving and experiencing big game on foot. With this range of interests, there is always likely be something special just around the corner!