This species was described from Upemba National Park, in Shaba Province in south-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Records have also been claimed from north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe, but it is likely that these actually refer to Phrynobatrachus mababiensis (which this species might indeed be a junior synonym of). Pending resolution of its taxonomic status, this species is currently understood as occurring only in south-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Habitat and Ecology
It is associated with streams and marshes in humid savannah and gallery forest. Its breeding biology is unknown, but reproduction presumably takes place in water, as with most other members of its genus.
It is a cryptic species, but apparently it is not uncommon in suitable habitat. However, there have been no recent records, presumably due to a lack of herpetological work in the area.
There is no information available on threats to this species.
Upemba National Park is the only protected area from which it is currently known. There are continuing doubts as to its taxonomic validity, it may be a junior synonym of Phrynobatrachus mababiensis.
Phrynobatrachus cryptotis might be a junior synonym of P. mababiensis (Poynton and Broadley 1985b).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Phrynobatrachus cryptotis. In: IUCN 2014