Arthroleptis poecilonotus Peters, 1863

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Arthroleptidae > Subfamily: Arthroleptinae > Genus: Arthroleptis > Species: Arthroleptis poecilonotus

Arthroleptis poecilonotus Peters, 1863, Monatsber. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1863: 446. Holotype: ZMB 3345, according to Bauer, Günther, and Klipfel, 1995, in Bauer et al. (eds.), Herpetol. Contr. W.C.H. Peters: 40. Type locality: "Holländischen Besitzungen (Boutry) an der Küste von Guinea", Ghana.

Arthroleptis macrodactylus Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 117. Holotype: BMNH (figured on pl. 11, fig. 5 in the original publication), by original designation. BMNH 1875.10.15.3, according to D. Blackburn (personal. comm.) and museum records. Type locality: "Gaboon" (= Gabon). Synonymy by Boulenger, 1906, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 7, 17: 317-323; Perret, 1966, Zool. Jahrb., Jena, Abt. Syst., 93: 394. See comment. 

Arthroleptis inguinalis Boulenger, 1900, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1900: 442. Syntypes: BMNH "numerous specimens" by original designation; including BM 1947.2.30.55–63, according to museum records Type locality: "Benito River", elsewhere in the original publication noted as "Benito River, north of the Gaboon River between 20 and 30 miles inland from the coast, Gaboon", Equatorial Guinea. Synonymy by Boulenger, 1906, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 7, 17: 317–323; Perret, 1966, Zool. Jahrb., Jena, Abt. Syst., 93: 394.

Abroscaphus poecilonotusLaurent, 1957, Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 56: 274–275, by implication.

Arthroleptis poecilonotusLaurent and Fabrezi, 1986 "1985", Alytes, 4: 92.

English Names

West African Screeching Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 37).

Mottled Squeaker (Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 58).


West African forest belt from Guinea-Bissau to Gabon, Burkina Faso, north-central Central African Republic, Rep. Congo, northern Dem. Rep. Congo and extreme western Uganda, possibly as far east as South Sudan; presumed to occur in Sierra Leone and Central African Republic. See comment. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Congo, Republic of the, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Togo, Uganda

Likely/Controversially Present: Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone


Possibly conspecific with Arthroleptis bivittatus according to Perret, 1991, Bull. Soc. Neuchatel. Sci. Nat., 114: 72–76. Rödel, 2000, Herpetofauna W. Afr., 1: 181–186, provided an account and noted the likelihood of this taxon being composed of more than one species. Blackburn, 2008, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 49: 806–826, noted phylogenetic structure within nominal Arthroleptis poecilonotus. Gabon record (tentative identification) provided by Lötters, Gossmann, Obame, and Böhme, 2001, Herpetofauna, Weinstadt, 23: 21. Frétey and Blanc, 2002 "2001", Bull. Soc. Zool. France, 126: 381, also reported this species from Gabon. Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 58–59, provided a brief account for East Africa and suggested that more than one species might be masquerading under this name, the East African populations actually being conspecific with Arthroleptis tuberosus. See comment under Arthroleptis zimmeri, a likely synonym. Lasso, Rial, Castroviejo, and De la Riva, 2002, Graellsia, 58: 21–34, provided notes on ecological distribution in Equatorial Guinea. Schiøtz, 1963, Vidensk. Medd. Dansk Naturhist. Foren., 125: 31, provided records for Nigeria (presumably including what is now Arthroleptis palava). Emms, Jambang, Bah, Mankali, Rödel, and Barnett, 2005, Herpetol. Bull., London, 94: 6–16, provided records for Gambia, but suggested that their taxonomic status was questionable. Segniagbeto, Bowessidjaou, Dubois, and Ohler, 2007, Alytes, 24: 76, commented on the species in Togo. Frétey, 2008, Alytes, 25: 99–172, summarized the literature. Jacobsen, 2009, Afr. Herp News, 47: 2–20, reported this species from east-north-central Central African Republic. See brief comments regarding range and habitat in Gabon by Larson and Zimkus, 2018, Herpetol. Conserv. Biol., 13: 244, and Jongsma, Tobi, Dixon-MacCallum, Bamba-Kaya, Yoga, Mbega, Mve Beh, Emrich, and Blackburn, 2017, Amph. Rept. Conserv., 11 (1: e144): 4–5, who noted that the nominal species is likely a species complex. Deichmann, Mulcahy, Vanthomme, Tobi, Wynn, Zimkus, and McDiarmid, 2017, PLoS One, 12 (11: e0187283): 13, provided molecular evidence that this is a species complex with the name Arthroleptis brevipes being available for the Togo Hills lineage and either Arthrolepis macrodactylus or Arthroleptis inguinalis available for the Cameroon population. Dewynter, Chirio, Melki, Cordier, and Frétey, 2017, Cah. Fondation Biotope, 11: 7, provided a brief account and photographs of Arthroleptis aff. "poecilonotus" from the Mount Koumouna-Bouali area of Gabon. Dewynter, Frétey, Jongsma, Bamba-Kaya, and Pauwels, 2018, Cah. Fondation Biotope, 18: 19, provided a brief account of Arthroleptis aff. poecilonotus and photographs from the Monts Birougou area of Gabon. Dewynter and Frétey, 2019, Cah. Fondation Biotope, 27: 7, noted that nominal Arthroleptis poecilonotus is inarguably a complex of species for which the name Arthroleptis macrodactylus is available for the Gabon specimens, summarized the literature for Gabon and provided a photograph (p. 43). Channing and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 260–261, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map which differs substantially from what can be estimated from the literature by reporting the range from "western Senegal, through the forest and humid savanna zone, to western Nigeria", implying either (and likely both) misidentifications in the literature and the pending naming of cryptic species, one of these being their Arthroleptis aff. poecilonotus (Pseudo-mottled Squeaker) which they noted from southeastern Nigeria, through Cameroon and south to the Rep. Congo and east to northern Dem. Rep. Congo. Sánchez-Vialas, Calvo-Revuelta, Castroviejo-Fisher, and De la Riva, 2020, Proc. California Acad. Sci., Ser. 4, 66: 147, summarized the understanding of this species complex which they referred to as Arthroleptis aff. poecilonotus in Equatorical Guinea. Ayoro, Segniagbeto, Hema, Penner, Oueda, Dubois, Rödel, Kabré, and Ohler, 2020, Zoosystema, 42: 547–582, discussed records, identification, and habitat in Burkina Faso. Kanga, Kouamé, Zogbass, Gongomin, Agoh, Kouamé, Konan, Adepo-Gourène, Gourène, and Rödel, 2021, Amph. Rept. Conserv., 15: 71–107, described habitat in the Ivory Coast side of Mont Nimba and discussed why their specimens may represent an unnamed species. Blackburn, Gonwouo, Rödel, and Penner, 2023, Herpetol. Notes, 16: 517–521, suggested that the record for Lamto, Ivory Coast (provided by Barbault and Rodrigues, 1979, Trop. Ecol., 20: 64–77) represents an unnamed species. These authors also suggested that the population studied by Lamotte and Perret, 1963, Bull. Inst. Fondam. Afr. Noire, Ser. A, 25: 277–284 , from Foulassi, Cameroon represents a different species (Arthroleptis aff. poecilonotus of Channing and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 260, that is more closely related to Arthroleptis bioko for which the likely available name is Arthroleptis macrodactylus (currently in the synonymy of Arthroleptis poecilonotus). 

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