AmphibiaWeb - Laurentophryne parkeri


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Laurentophryne parkeri (Laurent, 1950)
Parker's Tree Toad
family: Bufonidae
genus: Laurentophryne
Species Description: Laurent, R. F. (1950). "Diagnoses preliminaires de treize batraciens nouveaux d'Afrique centrale." Revue de Zoologie et Botanie Africaine, 44, 1-18.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Data Deficient (DD)
National Status Data Deficient
Regional Status None


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Laurentophryne parkeri is a small African bufonid, commonly known as Parker’s Tree Toad and mainly known from a female holotype. The snout-vent length of the holotype is 24.6 mm (Laurent 1950; Frank and Ramus 1995; Blackburn et. al 2017). Subsequent specimens have an average snout-vent length of 27.1 mm. The head is straight and narrow, with a pointed snout that extends beyond its mouth (Laurent 1950; Channing et al. 2019). The length and width of the head are approximately equal. A distinct canthus rostralis is visible and creates a vertical ridge on the edge of the snout. The loreal region is mostly concave, except for the convex region surrounding the nostrils. The eye diameter is approximately equal to the interorbital space (Laurent 1950). The hands have well-developed anterior palms and the fingers have well-developed webbing but do not have discs. The second finger is taller than the first. There is one visible, flattened medial and one lateral metatarsal tubercle. The toes have well-developed webbing, but there is no webbing on two phalanges on the fourth and fifth toes and one phalange on the third toe. The tips of the toes do not extend into discs. On both the fingers and the toes, the subarticular tubercles are indistinct (Laurent 1950; Channing et al. 2019).

Dorsally, the skin is granular with warts dorsally scattered or arranged in rows. There are two medial rows of warts running from the snout, diverging, then converging around the shoulder and extending slightly posteriorly. There are also two dorsolateral rows of warts that start from behind the eyes, slightly converging, then diverging around the arms. And there is one transverse lumbar row that points slightly to the head. Ventrally, the skin is granular (Laurent 1950; Channing et al. 2019).

Laurentophyrne is a monotypic genus. Numerous morphological and osteological characteristics differentiate L. parkeri from other members of fully arciferal genera in the Bufonidae family. The presence of a palatine bone and lack of lamelliform subdigital pads separate Laurentophyrne from Nectophyrne, which lack a palatine and possess unique lamelliform subdigital pads. In addition, having only seven presacral vertebrae and a reduced palatine separates the tree toad from Wolterstorffina, Bufo, and Nectophrynoides, which have eight presacral vertebrae and full-sized palatine bones. The fusion of its sacrum and coccyx also distinguish L. parkeri from Bufo, and Nectophrynoides, which do not possess such fusion (Tihen 1960).

In life, dorsally, the toad is gray to brown to nearly black, with light bands following the laterodorsal rows of warts and creating an X shape on the back. Ventrally, L. parkeri is gray-white with dark gray spots (Laurent 1950; Channing et al. 2019).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Congo, the Democratic Republic of the

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Laurentophryne parkeri is endemic to Kiandjo, within the Itombwe Mountains of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, which is 1,850 - 1,950 m above sea level. The species lives in montane forests (Laurent 1950; Channing et al. 2019).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

There is very limited information on L. parkeri. The reproductive modes of L. parkeri are presumably similar to the Central African toads Nectophyrne and Wolterstorffina (Grandison 1981; Blackburn et al. 2017).

In preservative, their eggs are unpigmented and range from 2.0 - 2.5 mm in diameter, thus larger in size than other bufonids (Grandison 1981; Blackburn et al. 2017). A clutch of eggs contains roughly 30 eggs (Tihen 1960; Channing et al. 2019).

Trends and Threats

Although Laurentophryne parkeri is listed as “Data Deficient” by the IUCN (2013) development in housing and urbanization, logging and wood harvesting, as well as the development of annual and perennial non-timber crops are threats to the species.


Based on morphology and osteology alone, L. parkeri is a member of the bufonid family and a sister group to Nectophryne (Tihen 1960; Grandison 1981). More specifically, L. parkeri was originally placed in the genus Wolterstorffina by Laurent (1950) due to osteological evidence, and Laurent recognized L. parkeri was distinct from Nectophryne. Later, Tihen (1960) and Grandison (1981) separated L. parkeri from Wolterstorffina through morphological and osteological evidence (Tihen 1960; Grandison 1981).

The genus "Laurentophryne" is in honor of Dr. Raymond Laurent, who first described the species (Tihen 1960).

The species epithet, "parkeri", is in honor of H.W. Parker, who helped identify L. parkeri as a new species (Laurent 1950)


Blackburn, D., Brecko, J., Stanley, E., Meirte, D. (2017). "Observations on the reproductive biology of Laurentophryne parkeri (Laurent, 1950) based on the holotype." Herpetology Notes, 10, 681-683.

Channing, A., Rödel, M.-O. (2019). Field Guide to the Frogs and Other Amphibians of Africa. Penguin Random House South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa.

Frank, N. and Ramus, E. (1995). A Complete Guide to Scientific and Common Names of Reptiles and Amphibians of the World. NG Publishing Inc., Pottsville, Pennsylvania.


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. (2013). “Laurentophryne parkeri”. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T54813A16935437. Accessed on 24 January 2023.

Laurent, R. F. (1950). ''Diagnoses preliminaires de treize batraciens nouveaux d'Afrique centrale.'' Revue de Zoologie et Botanie Africaine, 44, 1-18.

Tihen, J. (1960). "Two New Genera of African Bufonids, with Remarks on the Phylogeny of Related Genera." Copeia, 3, 225-233.

Originally submitted by: Hong Nguyen (2023-01-30)
Description by: Hong Nguyen (updated 2023-01-30)
Distribution by: Hong Nguyen (updated 2023-01-30)
Life history by: Hong Nguyen (updated 2023-01-30)
Trends and threats by: Hong Nguyen (updated 2023-01-30)
Comments by: Hong Nguyen (updated 2023-01-30)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2023-01-30)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Laurentophryne parkeri: Parker's Tree Toad <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 22, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Jun 2024.

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