Leptopelis modestus
family: Arthroleptidae

© 2008 Arne Schiotz (1 of 2)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None



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A small forest-living Leptopelis (males 26-35 mm, females 36-41 mm) from medium and high altitudes. It differs from L. hyloides and L. aubryi by its larger digital discs, its voice and in having a green or blue throat in calling males. Dorsum greyish brown with an indistinct darker hour-glass pattern. My sample from Obudu, Nigeria, has a conspicuous white spot below the eye. Throat in calling males green or blue.

The name L. modestus may very well cover more that one species; the type is dried and cannot show the diagnostic characters but Perret has designated a specimen from Buea as lectotype. At high altitudes in Cameroun and on the Obudu Plateau in Nigeria there is a distinct species which has previously been referred to L. modestus by Perret, Amiet and Schiøtz. A form from lower altitudes on the south Cameronese plateau with a larger tympanum, has been regarded as conspecific. Much further east, in eastern R. D. Congo there is a Leptopelis which is so similar that it has been referred to modestus, but in view of the often tiny differences between species in this genus I doubt whether it really is conspecific. Another similar form from Kakamega Forest, Kenya, has recently been separated as Leptopelis mackayi. The morphologically very similar L. fiziensis was also originally described as a subspecies of L. modestus.

Distribution and Habitat

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


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Cameroun, Nigeria, possibly eastern R.D. Congo, at medium to high altitudes. Found in forests. The status of the population called Leptopelis modestus in eastern R. D. Congo has not been studied recently.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The voice is a deep, unmelodious, drawn-out clack, sometimes repeated twice, with an indistinct frequency-intensity maximum of about 2000 cps. Amiet has also noted a brief clack. These voices are as noted in populations from Cameroun and eastern Nigeria.

This account was taken from "Treefrogs of Africa" by Arne Schiøtz with kind permission from Edition Chimaira publishers, Frankfurt am Main. Updated by A. Schiøtz, 2008.


Schiøtz, A. (1999). Treefrogs of Africa. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main.

Written by Arne Schiøtz (arne AT, *
First submitted 2001-02-07
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2008-09-30)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Leptopelis modestus <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 21, 2020.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 21 Sep 2020.

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