Grey Foam-nest Treefrog

Grey Foam-nest Treefrog
Grey Foam-nest Treefrog
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Rhacophoridae
Genus: Chiromantis
Species: C. xerampelina
Binomial name
Chiromantis xerampelina
Peters, 1854

The Grey Foam-nest Treefrog or Southern Foam-nest Treefrog (Chiromantis xerampelina) is a species of frog in the Rhacophoridae family. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, possibly Democratic Republic of the Congo, and possibly Somalia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, dry savanna, moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, intermittent freshwater marshes, arable land, pastureland, rural gardens, urban areas, heavily degraded former forest, ponds, and canals and ditches.




The grey foam-nest tree frog mates in what is described as the most extreme example of polyandry of all vertebrates. The simultaneous polyandry begins when a female begins releasing eggs onto a tree branch. Up to 12 males then cluster around her and fertilise the eggs by producing sperm which they whip into a foamy 'nest' with their hind legs. The female will leave temporarily to rehydrate before returning to the nest, as the entire ordeal can last several hours.

It has been found that offspring of these polyandrous encounters are more likely to survive than the eggs fertilised by one single male. [1]


  1. ^ Harmonious orgy is winning forumla for frogs, Australian Geographic, February 22, 2011.

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