This species is known from Colombia, Venezuela, French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, and the Amazon basin in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and isolated localities from the Cerrado in central Brazil. It has been recorded up to 600m asl. Before a recent revision (1994) of this taxon, it was confused as Leptodactylus podicipinus and Leptodactylus wagneri, and no major revision of Venezuelan material has been undertaken, the true geographic distribution of the species in unclear in Venezuela. The listed Venezuelan localities produce an unlikely distribution pattern, and so it is necessary to confirm the identity of Venezuelan specimens in order to clarify its geographic range in this country.
Habitat and Ecology
It is an inhabitant of tropical rainforest, forest edge, open areas, savannah enclaves in the tropical rainforest, and open Cerrado formations. It is usually found on the ground near waterbodies. It lays its eggs in foam nests in temporary pools, and the tadpoles develop in lentic water. It is considered to be a highly adaptable species to secondary and anthropogenic habitats. In Guyana, this species was found in primary forest exclusively, and it appears to prefer habitats that can be characterized by open, scarcely vegetated understorey and the presence of large, highly dynamic aquatic sites (Ernst et al., 2007).
It is a common species.
There are no major threats to this species. Changes in thermal environment, however, can affect larval growth and survival (Ernst et al., 2007).
Its range includes several protected areas.
This species was removed from the synonymy of Leptodactylus podicipinus by Heyer (1994) where it had been placed by Rivero (1961), and (as a synonym of Leptodactylus caliginosus) by Boulenger (1882).
Ronald Heyer, Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues 2010. Leptodactylus petersii. In: IUCN 2014