Long-Toed Tree Frog

Long-toed Tree Frog (Genus: Leptopelis)

The long-toed tree frog derives its name from its unusually long toes on its hind feet, with a very long Leptopelis and barely any webbing. Found in South Africa and possibly Lesotho, the frog lives largely in wet grasslands in the southern KwaZulu-Natal Province highlands. As its name suggests the frog likes to inhabit marshes, intermittent freshwater marches, and swamps where it can lay its eggs near water. It inhabits higher altitude land where annual summer rainfall is of 650–1000 mm.

Long-toed Tree Frog photographed by Nick Evans

Long-toed tree frogs grow up to 50mm in length. Typically it has a cream white belly and a shinny lime green back, arms and legs. They call to females with two intermittent short croaks. The species dig burrows in soft mud and largely remain concealed during the day time where they communicate with croaks. Their diet is believed to consist of small insects such as mosquitoes.

Appeal of the Long-Toed Frog

More work is needed to survey numbers and distribution of the long-toed frog. It would be such a shame to lose the long-toed tree frog as humans encroach on to their natural habitat. They are picture post card amphibians known for their large dark eyes and odd looking large toes. With what can be described as a cute appearance, we can support conservation groups such as the amphibian rescue center http://amphibianrescue.org/tag/long-toed-tree-frog/

Fantastic Facts About The Long-Toed Tree Frog

  • The long-toed tree frog prefers marshes and land to trees despite its name.
  • The species has only been written about for 40 years because of a single frog captured at Underberg.

The Long-Toed Frog in Literature

We long-toed frogs are experts at hiding. You see that muddy swamp near the boulder? Long-toed frogs often hide in mud like that. Enemies cannot smell you out in sticky mud – besides, they don’t like to hunt people in clinging mud.” He pointed northward, to the level, darkened ground beyond the collection of boulders.

E.G price, The Zambezi Allies

The frog jerked his head back toward Jasiri and returned to his original topic; “The favour I ask of you is that you take me with you, sirs. A frog like me longs to be back near water. I am here by accident and bad fortune. A great storm hit our lake with .whirling. winds, the likes of which have not been seen in a generation. The winds carried me and other small water people into the air, many miles away from our lovely, wet home. The likes of skinks, toads and fish were broken, killed on the sand under the cruel sun.”

E.G Price, The Zambezi Allies
Long-Toed Frog

Conservation Status of The Long Toed Tree Frog

The IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature involved in data gathering and analysis, has labeled the Long-toed tree frog as, ‘endangered’. Primary reasons are habitat loss.

ICUN Red Flag Status
IUCN Red Flag

Populations are believed to be declining in South Africa. Much is caused by afforestation and infestations of alien plants.

The small territory of the long-toed tree frog: marshlands and grassland of the southern KwaZulu-Natal Province highlands in east South Africa is being degraded by human activities.

Q & A

Does the long-toed tree frog like low altitude?

The long-toed tree frog likes high altitude grassland.

What is the binomial name for the long toed tree frog?

The long-toed tree frogs binomial name is Leptopelis xenodactylus

Where does the long toed tree frog lay its eggs?

The long-toed tree frog lays its eggs in nests on the ground.

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