AmphibiaWeb - Leptopelis natalensis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Leptopelis natalensis (Smith, 1849)
Natal Tree Frog, Isele lasezihlahleni laseNatali (Zulu)
family: Arthroleptidae
genus: Leptopelis
Species Description: Smith, A. 1849. Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa; Consisting Chiefly of Figures and Descriptions of the Objects of Natural History Collected during an Expedition into the Interior of South Africa, in the Years 1834, 1835, and 1836 .... Vol. III. Reptilia. Appendix. London: Smith, Elder, & Co.
Leptopelis natalensis
© 1998 Miguel Vences and Frank Glaw (1 of 11)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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A large Leptopelis, females up to 65 mm from South Africa. Dorsum cream, brown, green or mottled in these colours. Pattern never forming an 'n' shaped figure on dorsum. Eyes red or golden.

Tadpole tooth formula is 1,3+3/3.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Mozambique, South Africa

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Coastal forests, riverine bush and swamp along the southern KwaZulu-Natal coast, South Africa.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males usually call from exposed positions in trees and bushes, often close to and overhanging water. The voice is a loud monosyllabic quack, often emitted twice in quick succession, interspersed by very long intervals. Sometimes preceded by a soft buzzing.

The eggs are large (0.3 mm) and yellow. 185 have been recorded in a single batch, laid out of water amongst decaying leaves or in mud near streams. The tadpoles wriggle towards the water, moving over stones and twigs, and have been known to scale the sides of a tin (Wager 1965). They are able to make short leaps by flicking their tail, and to survive for weeks before being placed in water.

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


Phaka, F.M., Netherlands, E.C., Kruger, D.J.D., Du Preez, L.H. (2019). Folk taxonomy and indigenous names for frogs in Zululand, South Africa. J Ethnobiology Ethnomedicine 15, 17. [link]

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

Wager, V. A. (1965). The Frogs of South Africa. Purnell and Sons, Cape Town, South Africa.

Originally submitted by: Arne Schiøtz (first posted 2001-02-12)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2023-05-31)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Leptopelis natalensis: Natal Tree Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 28, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 28 May 2024.

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