© 2008 Jean-Louis Amiet (1 of 3)
Leptopelis brevirostris is a medium-sized Leptopelis with males having a snout-vent length of 30.7 – 43.0 mm (mean 36.7 ± SD 2.9 mm) and females with a snout-vent length of 26.7 – 65.2 mm (mean 47.1 ± SD 8.6 mm). The snout is sharply truncated in profile, relatively short, and sub-equal to the eye diameter. Males have a snout-to-eye-ratio of 0.7 – 1.2 (mean 1.0 ± SD 0.1) and females have a snout-to-eye-ratio of 0.6 – 1.2 (mean 1.0 ± SD 0.1). The tympanic annulus complete, only weakly visible in some specimens. The skin on surface of tympanum is sometimes smoother than surrounding skin in temporal region, sometimes obscured by granular skin as in temporal region, sometimes differing between left and right tympana of same individual. The skin on dorsum is smooth, shagreened or weakly granular. Males do not have distinct pectoral glands. Additionally, there is no ulnar tubercle no dermal spur on tibiotarsal joint (Bell et al. 2019).
The Central African species, L. notatus (Peters, 1875), is the presumed sister taxon to L. brevirostris (Deichmann et al. 2017; Portik et al. 2019) and the two species are largely sympatric. Snout length is less than or roughly equal to eye diameter in L. brevirostris, whereas snout length exceeds eye diameter in L. notatus (Bell et al. 2019).
The dorsal coloration is usually uniformly green or brown, sometimes with light-colored (yellow, brown or orange in life) spots or irregular pattern on region from top of head to sacrum [see Figure 3 in Bell et al. 2019; Plate II in Boulenger (1906); Figure 13 in Lötters et al. (2001); Figure 1 in Lötters et al. (2005); Figures 216 to 218 in Amiet (2012)]. The flank coloration is sometimes the same as the dorsum, sometimes lighter green, lighter brown, or grey, occasionally with small black spots. The ventral coloration is uniform or in combination of white, creamy- white, or yellow, sometimes with small, scattered dark spots.
Other than variation in coloration (described above), L. brevirostris within a locality may vary with respect to the prominence of the tympanum (smooth skin with a visible tympanum or granular skin obscuring the tympanum), and the size and shape of the vomerine teeth (Bell et al. 2019).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
In certain places males gather in fairly large numbers to call. The areas of the forest where these gatherings take place do not seem to differ from other, similar sites where the frogs are absent. Pools and puddles are consistently lacking at these sites, and since the eggs are very large (0.5 mm) and full of yolk it seems likely that L. brevirostris has forgone the free-swimming tadpole stage of development (Schiøtz 1999).
The males call from branches or lianas, sometimes a leaf, normally not higher than 3 metres above the ground and apparently far from water. The voice is a rather tonal, brief "tok", repeated once or twice, sometimes three times in succession. A longer call is emitted more rarely. It is a long succession of quiet figures, followed by a normal clack (Schiøtz 1999).
Unlike most species in the genus, L. brevirostris eats terrestrial gastropods (Schiøtz 1999).
In a morphological study that examined more than 70 specimens, the tympanic annulus was complete in all individuals, however, the thickness and texture of the skin covering the tympanic annulus varied considerably between specimens and sometimes between the left and right sides of an individual frog (Bell et al. 2019). Loss of the tympanic membrane (and other elements of the middle ear) in anurans is often associated with a decrease in hearing sensitivity at high frequencies (>1 kHz) but this has not yet been examined in L. brevirostris. The advertisement call of males is a brief clack at 1 kHz (Schiøtz 1999).
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
The Central African species, L. notatus (Peters, 1875), is the presumed sister taxon to L. brevirostris (Deichmann et al. 2017; Portik et al. 2019)
Some parts of the "Life History" section of this account were taken from "Treefrogs of Africa" by Arne Schiøtz with kind permission from Edition Chimaira publishers, Frankfurt am Main.
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Originally submitted by: Rayna C. Bell and Arne Schiøtz (first posted 2001-02-07)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker and Ann T. Chang (2020-08-21)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2020 Leptopelis brevirostris <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/3640> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 4, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 4 Dec 2021.
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