AmphibiaWeb - Leptopelis mossambicus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Leptopelis mossambicus Poynton, 1985
Mozambique Tree Frog, Isele lasezihlahleni elinsundua (Zulu)
family: Arthroleptidae
genus: Leptopelis
Species Description: Poynton, J. C. 1985. Nomenclatural revision of southeast African treefrogs of the genus Leptopelis (Amphibia: Hyperoliidae). South African Journal of Science 81: 466–468.
Leptopelis mossambicus
© 2018 Mauro Teixeira Jr (1 of 3)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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A large Leptopelis (males up to 52 mm, females to 63 mm) from south-eastern Africa, with moderately developed digital discs. Reduced webbing between toes, virtually none between fingers. Inner metatarsal tubercle large, more then 80% of length of inner toe. Horizontal diameter of tympanum more than half the diameter of eye. Dorsum brown with a conspicuous 'n' shaped dark dorsal pattern. This pattern is less evident and may be absent in northern specimens. Sometimes a dark patch over the eye. Males with pectoral glands. Juveniles uniform green.

The tadpole is dark and elongated, up to 60 mm (18+42) in length. Tooth formula 1,3+3/3.

Distribution and Habitat

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

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In wooded savanna from the lowlands of northern KwaZulu-Natal and Northern Province in South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and southern Malawi.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The males call from elevated positions in trees and bushes, sometimes several hundred metres from water. They show a tendency to perch at the very top of vegetation. The voice is a two-syllable quack ("wa-la") emitted at long intervals and sometimes preceded by a buzzing.

In 1985 when Poynton described this species he referred a bewildering array of hitherto mis-identified forms to his new taxon, namely L. johnstoni (Parker 1930), L. concolor (Poynton 1964, Wager 1965), L. cinnamomeus (Poynton 1966, Schiøtz 1975, with reservations), L. lebeaui (Stevens 1974, Schiøtz 1975, with reservations).

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.

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

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Leptopelis mossambicus: Mozambique Tree Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 21, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 21 Jul 2024.

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