A large fossorial Leptopelis (males to 54 mm), dorsum brown with a darker 'n' or 'm'-shaped marking, or a darker dorsal patch extending to the head. Juveniles green with a black line along the side of the white-tipped snout.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Angola, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, United Republic of, Zambia
Known from uplands of northern Mozambique and Malawi, northern Zambia, northern Angola, southern R. D. Congo. May be distributed further north, but separation from L. bocagii seems so uncertain that no exact distribution can be given.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
According to Poynton and Broadley (1987), males call from the ground or from elevated positions in reeds or bushes, but this information was from observations by Stevens in Malawi, and the data could very well be based on two different species. The voice is a deep atonal "waab", possibly indistinguishable from the voice of L. bocagii.
Poynton and Broadley established this new name for what had until recently been a most confusing array of names. These included L. bocagii by Loveridge (1953), Poynton (1964), Stewart (1967) and Stevens (1974), L. lebeaui by Schmidt and Inger (1959) and Broadley (1971), L. angolensis by Poynton (1964) and Stewart (1967) and L. cinnamomeus by Poynton (1966), Stevens (1974) and Schiï¿½tz (1975). The confusion arose because clear separating characters in preserved specimens are lacking among the savanna forms in this part of Africa, and because field observations are so few. Poynton and Broadley themselves are in doubt as to whether this form may be composite, since one of the few field observers in the region, Stevens from Malawi, recorded two different forms, and both of these were treated as L. parbocagii by Poynton and Broadley.
It is very difficult from the description to find good characters to separate it from the very similar L. bocagii. The ratio of interorbital distance versus nostril-tympanum distance is regarded by Poynton and Broadley as the diagnostic character. In bocagii this ratio does not exceed 0.36, while in parbocagii it is 0.36 or more. It seems from their description that there is no evidence from field observations to separate them as distinct biological species. The two species do not seem to have been recorded from the same sites although their ranges overlap. Whether they have different ecological requirements and thus occupy subtly different habitats has not been established.
This account was taken from "Treefrogs of Africa" by Arne Schiøtz with kind permission from Edition Chimaira publishers, Frankfurt am Main.
Updated by A. Schiøtz, 2008.
Poynton, J. C. and Broadley, D. G. (1987). ''Amphibia Zambesiaca 3. Rhacophoridae and Hyperoliidae.'' Annals of the Natal Museum, 28, 161-229.
Schiøtz, A. (1999). Treefrogs of Africa. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main.
Schiøtz, A. and Von Daele, P. (2003). ''Notes on the treefrogs of the North-Western Province, Zambia.'' Alytes, 20(3-4), 137-149.
Written by Arne Schiøtz (arne AT schiotz.dk), *
First submitted 2001-02-07
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2008-09-30)
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