Painted Reed Frogs, also known as Marbled Reed Frogs, are tiny little amphibians, growing to a maximum length of 33mm (females are slightly larger than males). As their name suggest, they inhabit reeds and other emergent vegetation around ponds, pans and riverbanks in forests, savanna, grassland and to a lesser extent fynbos. They feed entirely on insects and other invertebrates.
By day Painted Reed Frogs hide in dense plant material (when exposed to sunlight during the day they turn pale grey to white) to emerge at dusk, the males giving voice to their short, high-pitched chirps in large choruses in the breeding season that spans spring and summer. Females can lay several clutches of between 150 and 650 eggs in a season, roughly a month apart. Once fertilised, their eggs are attached to submerged plants. The eggs hatch after about 5 days, and by 8 weeks old the metamorphosis from tadpole to frog is complete.
In South Africa, three races of the Painted Reed Frog is distributed from the lowveld of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, through Kwazulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape to the Cape Peninsula. They seem to be expanding their range is recent times, and at least some of this may be due to assisted translocations by humans moving plants from nurseries in their native range to other localities. Painted Reed Frogs are also found in Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The IUCN considers the species to be of least concern.