Arthroleptella lightfooti
Lightfoot's moss frog
family: Pyxicephalidae
subfamily: Cacosterninae
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Near Threatened (NT)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: South Africa


View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.


From the IUCN Red List Species Account:


Range Description

This species is endemic to the Table Mountain and the other mountains of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, where it occurs from sea level up to 1,000 m asl. It is known from four locations and its extent of occurrence is 453 km2.

Habitat and Ecology

It is a species of fynbos heathland and forest that does not survive in developed areas. Breeding is by direct development, with 5-12 eggs being laid in moss or similar vegetation in wet mossy areas near rivers, hillside or roadside seepages, and heavily vegetated streams.


This species appears to be relatively abundant on the Cape Peninsula. Fire and post-fire impacts on number of mature individuals are expected to cause large fluctuations in subpopulation sizes (as in other members of this genus).

Population Trend


Major Threats

Even though its habitat is largely protected, the major threats to this species are the spread of alien species (in particular pines) and too frequent or intense fires which may cause extreme population fluctuations. Increased tourism in the area needs to be properly managed to minimise impact. There has probably been some loss of habitat in the past due to urban development and pine plantations on parts of the mountains.

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No conservation actions are currently prioritised for this species. Most of this species' range is in Table Mountain National Park and Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens.

Conservation Needed
Results from research need to be placed into a management framework for active conservation measures, inclusive of invasive species control, and potential impacts from tourism need to be properly managed.

Research Needed
Studies on its population size, distribution and trends, life history and ecology, and threats are needed.

Red List Status

Near Threatened (NT)


Listed as Near Threatened because, although its a small extent of occurrence (453 km2), extreme fluctuations in number of mature individuals and subpopulations and small number of locations, it is relatively abundant and the current threats are not considered to be too severe. However, future decline in the extent and quality of its habitat might led this species to become threatened.


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group & South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG) 2016. Arthroleptella lightfooti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T58061A77157902. .Downloaded on 17 January 2019


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