This species is endemic to southwestern South Africa, where it lives at low altitudes near Rooi Els and Betty's Bay, and at higher altitudes in the Hottentots-Holland, Kogelberg and Kleinrivier Mountains, east to the Bredasdorp Mountains, Western Cape Province. It occurs from sea level up to 1,000 m asl. Counting mountain ranges as locations, it is known from at least 16 locations and probably occurs in many more. Its estimated extent of occurrence is 6,382 km² and its estimated area of occurrence is 638 (10% of EOO).
Habitat and Ecology
It is a species of lowland and montane fynbos heath land that also survives in certain anthropogenic habitats, such as exotic plantations in places (though these are not favoured habitats). It breeds in wet mossy areas near rivers, hillside or roadside seepages, and heavily vegetated streams. It lays around 10 eggs in moss or similar vegetation, which develop directly, without a larval stage.
It is a common species, and is occurs less patchily than other Arthroleptella species.
Its habitat is largely protected, although it is being impacted by the spread of alien species (in particular pines), afforestation, and fires taking place too frequently. Coastal populations are likely to be impacted by urban development. However, these threats are believed to be relatively minor as most reserves are actively managed.
Many of the known locations are within protected areas. There are no immediate priorities for conservation research of this species.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern since, although its Extent of Occurrence is 6,382 km², it occurs in an area of extensive, suitable habitat which appears not to be under significant threat, it is somewhat adaptable to habitat change and it has a presumed large population.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2013. Arthroleptella villiersi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T58063A18403581. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-2.RLTS.T58063A18403581.en .Downloaded on 17 January 2019