On Fridays we celebrate all things amphibian! Happy FROG FRIDAY! Today we take a look at the Long-toed tree frog (Leptopelis xenodactylus). This species is endemic to south-eastern South Africa in the southern KwaZulu-Natal Province highlands, and marginally in Eastern Cape Province. It is not found on the steep slopes of the escarpment, but usually occurs between 1,000 and 1,830 m asl. The Long-toed tree frog is listed as Endangered by the IUCN.

This species is cryptic and not commonly encountered. It is considered to be severely fragmented as over 50% of individuals are in isolated patches, and the distances between sub-populations are considered to be too great for dispersal within one generation. It occurs in grassland, keeping to areas away from trees, and breeds in upland bogs, grassy wetlands and marshes, generally using semi-permanent water. Eggs are presumably laid in a nest on the ground near water.

Reference: South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG) 2013. Leptopelis xenodactylus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>.

Frog Fridays celebrate the amazing diversity of frogs and toads in the southern African region. Click here to learn more about Frog Friday and the Animal Demography Unit.