Nectophrynoides asperginis Poynton, Howell, Clarke & Lovett, 1999

Kihansi spray toad



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Extinct in the wild.

Last wild record: 2004.


IUCN status: [url=]Extinct in the Wild[/url]


This species has been returned to the wild, but is still dependent on human intervention for their survival and so are still classified as extinct in the wild by REPAD, in accordance with IUCN criteria.



Kihansi Falls, Kihansi Gorge, Udzungwa Mountains, eastern Tanzania













Original scientific description:

Poynton, J.C., Howell, K.M., Clarke, B.T. and Lovett, J.C. (1999). A critically endangered new species of Nectophrynoides (Anura: Bufonidae) from the Kihansi Gorge, Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania. African Journal of Herpetology 1999: 59-67.


Other references:

Bal, Philip et al. (2020). A New Ectotherm 3D Tracking and Behavior Analytics System Using a Depth-based Approach with Color Validation, with Preliminary Data on Kihansi Spray Toad (Nectophrynoides asperginis) Activity. Herpetological Review 51(1): 37-46.

CBSG (IUCN/SSC). (2007). Kihansi Spray Toad (Nectophrynoides asperginis) Population and Habitat Viability Assessment: Briefing Book. CBSG, Apple Valley.

Channing, A., Finlow-Bates, K.S., Haarklau, S.E. and Hawkes, P.G. (2006). The biology and recent history of the Critically Endangered Kihansi Spray Toad Nectophrynoides asperginis in Tanzania. Journal of East African Natural History 95(2): 117-138.

Channing, A., Howell, K., Loader, S., Menegon, M. & Poynton, J. (2009). Nectophrynoides asperginis. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. . Downloaded on 16 February 2013.

Church, Don. (2011). Kihansi Spray Toad Re-introduction Guidelines. froglog 97: 15.

Harding, G., Griffiths, R.A. & Pavajeau, L., (In Press). Developments in amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction programs, Conservation Biology. (Accepted for publication August 2015).

Krajick, K. (2006). The lost world of the Kihansi toad. Science 2006: 1230-1232.

Lee, S., Zippel, K., Ramos, L. and Searle, J. (2006). Captive-breeding programme for the Kihansi spray toad Nectophrynoides asperginis at the Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York. International Zoo Yearbook 40: 241-253.

Malago, Joshua J. (2019a). Histopathological Diagnosis of Diseases Affecting Amphibians Inhabiting Kihansi Gorge, Tanzania. Tanzania Journal of Science 45(4): 608-617.

Malago, Joshua J. (2019b). Some Histopathological Findings in Dead Kihansi Spray Toads in Captivity. Tanzania Journal of Science 45(4): 618-628.

Msuya, Charles A. and Mohamed, Nassoro. (2019). Reintroduction of the Kihansi Spray Toad Nectophrynoides asperginis Back to its Natural Habitat by Using Acclimatizing Cages. Tanzania Journal of Science 45(4): 570-583.

Nahonyo, Cuthbert L. (2019). Research Work and Conservation Initiatives in the Kihansi Catchment Ecosystem, Tanzania. Tanzania Journal of Science 45(4): 539-542.

Nahonyo, Cuthbert L., Goboro, Ezekiel M., Ngalason, Wilirk, Mutagwaba, Severinus, Ugomba, Richard S., Nassoro, Mohammed and Nkombe, Emmanuel S. (2017). Conservation efforts of Kihansi spray toad Nectophrynoides asperginis: its discovery, captive breeding, extinction in the wild and re-introduction. Tanz. J. Sci. 43(1): 23-35.

Ngalason, Wilirk et al. (2019). The Dynamics of Re-introduced Kihansi Spray Toad Nectophrynoides asperginis and other Amphibians in Kihansi Gorge, Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania. Tanzania Journal of Science 45(4): 584-598.

Quinn, C.H., Ndangalasi, H.J., Gerstle, J. and Lovett, J.C. (2005). Effect of the Lower Kihansi Hydropower Project and post-project mitigation measures on wetland vegetation in Kihansi Gorge, Tanzania. Biodiversity and Conservation 2005: 297-308.

Rija, A. A., Goboro, E. M., Mwamende, K. A., Said, A., Kohi, E. M. and Hassan, S. N. (2014). Activity patterns and fine-scale resource partitioning in the gregarious Kihansi spray toad Nectophrynoides asperginis in captivity. Zoo Biol. doi: 10.1002/zoo.21163 [Abstract]

Shuter, Avishai D., Parsons, Michael H. and Sarno, Ronald J. (In Press, 2015). Association of Male Inguinal Patch Size with Mate Assortment in the Kihansi Spray Toad, Nectophrynoides asperginis. Journal of Herpetology. [[url=]Abstract[/url]]

Vigdis Vandvik, Inger E. Måren, Henry J. Ndangalasi, James Taplin, Frank Mbago, and Jon C. Lovett. (2014). Back to Africa: monitoring post-hydropower restoration to facilitate reintroduction of an extinct-in-the-wild amphibian. Ecosphere 5(8): art95. [Abstract]

Video of them in captivity: