AMPHIBIAWEB
Arthroleptella lightfooti
Lightfoot's moss frog
family: Pyxicephalidae
subfamily: Cacosterninae
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Near Threatened (NT)
CITES
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: South Africa

 

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

   

From the Encyclopedia of Life account:

Distribution

A. lightfooti is endemic to the Cape Peninsula. It is known from sea level to 1000 m at the top of Table Mountain (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Channing, A.
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Morphology

The following is the original description by (Boulenger, 1910):

Tongue lacks a median papilla. Head is as long as broad, and the snout is rounded, as long as the orbit. The canthus rostralis is feeble. The interorbital space is broader than the upper eyelid. Typanum is distinct, measuring barely half the diameter of the eye. Fingers and toes have swollen tips. The first finger is shorter than the second. Toes have an almost imperceptile rudiment of web. Subarticular tubercles are small and feebly prominent. There is a very small inner metatarsal tubercle, and no tarsal tubercle is present. The tarso-metatarsal articulation reaches the eye. The tibia is slightly shorter than the foot, measuring 2/5 the length of the head and body. Dorsum is greyish-brown, and the snout and flanks are lighter. A blackish-brown streak is present from the nostril to above the arm insertion. Dark brown spots are present on the upper lip. The venter is white with the sides of the belly and hind limbs marbles with dark brown.


Authors: Zimkus, Breda; Channing, A.
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Size

Holotype measured 16 mm (Boulenger, 1910). Females reach 22 mm in length (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Diagnostic Description

Adults vary considerably in colouration and markings. The outer metatarsal tubercle is well developed as in A. villiersi (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Habitat and Ecology

This species is restricted to montane fynbos and Afromontane forest in the winter rainfall region, where annual rainfall is >750 mm. It inhabits seepages, both in open fynbos and kloofs, where the vegetation is thick and the substrate is sandy or rocky (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Channing, A.
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Metamorphosis

Development is direct and metamorphosis takes place 7–10 days after the eggs are laid (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Channing, A.
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Advertisement Call

The advertisement call is a short chirp consisting of three pulses. The call is 0.1 s long and has an emphasized frequency of 3.1–3.4 kHz (Channing el al., 1994; Channing, 2001; Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).

Choruses develop during the daytime and at night, between April and December, coinciding with the rainy season. Males call from concealed sites and are frequently found under moss in the vicinity of egg masses (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Channing, A.
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Reproduction

Clutches of 5–12 eggs are laid on damp soil under vegetation or in more exposed positions, and are often found near waterfalls (Channing, 2001; Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Channing, A.
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

IUCN Red List Category and Justification of Conservation Status

Major declines are not expected, and the species was therefore classified Near Threatened (Harrison et al. 2001). While the species is not considered to be under immediate threat, appropriate conservation management practices are necessary to ensure its continued survival (Text from Minter et al., 2004, © SI/MAB Biodiversity Program).


Author: Channing, A.
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/