This species is endemic to forests across East Usambaras, Tanzania (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012). It ranges from 200 m asl to ca 1,240 m asl (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012). Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 678 km² and it is considered to occur in a single threat-defined location (S. Loader pers. comm. March 2015).
Habitat and Ecology
The species occurs in both lowland and montane forest, living in leaf-litter, under logs, and in the axils of banana leaves. It is not known to what degree it can tolerate alteration of its natural habitat. It is presumed to breed by direct development, and the eggs to be laid in leaf-litter.
This is a locally common species and its population is not considered to be severely fragmented. However, due to ongoing habitat loss its population is suspected to be decreasing.
The species is likely to be adversely affected by ongoing forest loss and degradation, especially from encroaching small-scale agriculture and pole cutting (S. Loader pers. comm. March 2015). The type locality area was historically impacted by intensive small-scale artisanal gold mining; however, it is unlikely that it was severely impacted given that it is not stream-dependent (J. Vonesh and S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012).
It occurs in the Amani and Nilo Nature Reserves and several forest reserves in the East Usambaras (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012). These reserves are relatively well protected in comparison to other protected areas in the region, but there is still a need for increased protection and improved management (S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012). More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, and natural history, as well as its taxonomy.
Red List Status
This species is listed as Vulnerable because its extent of occurrence is 678 km², it is considered to occur in a single threat-defined location, and the quality and extent of its forest habitat in the Eastern Arc Mountains is declining.
There are major taxonomic problems with the genus Arthroleptis through much of Africa. Given taxonomic uncertainties, individuals collected outside of the East Usambaras are not referrable to Arthroleptis xenodactylus (J. Poynton and S. Loader pers. comm. June 2012), but to the more widespread species A. xenodactyloides or currently undescribed species.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Arthroleptis xenodactylus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T73343869A16947326. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T73343869A16947326.en .Downloaded on 20 February 2019