Leptopelis gramineus (Boulenger, 1898)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Arthroleptidae > Subfamily: Leptopelinae > Genus: Leptopelis > Species: Leptopelis gramineus

Megalixalus gramineus Boulenger, 1898, Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova, Ser. 2, 18: 721. Syntypes: BMNH and MSNG (several specimens), including BMNH 1898.1.28.20–21 (reregistered 1947.2.10.19–20) according to museum records; MSNG 28564A designated lectotype by Capocaccia, 1957, Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova, Ser. 3, 69: 217. Type locality: "between Badditù and Dimè", Ethiopia. Type locality restricted (via an extended discussion) to "Ethiopia, Gamu Gofa, 6°29′N, 36°59′E" by Tiutenko and Zinenko, 2021, ZooKeys, 1023: 119. 

Leptopelis gramineusParker, 1930, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1930: 1; Tiutenko and Zinenko, 2021, ZooKeys, 1023: 127.

Megalixalus gramineusAhl, 1931, Das Tierreich, 55: 432.

English Names

Badditu Forest Treefrog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 69). Inappropriate name due to pointing to a location outside of known range ( Tiutenko and Zinenko, 2021, ZooKeys, 1023: 124).

Ethiopian Burrowing Tree Frog (Largen and Spawls, 2010, Amph. Rept. Ethiopia Eritrea: 126).


Ethiopian Highlands, 1900–3900 m elevation, west of the Rift Valley.

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Ethiopia

Endemic: Ethiopia


Largen, 2001, Tropical Zool., 14: 350-351, discussed distribution. See account, photograph, and map for Ethiopia by Largen and Spawls, 2010, Amph. Rept. Ethiopia Eritrea: 135-136. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 110–111, reported on comparative tadpole morphology. Schiøtz, 1999, Treefrogs Afr.: 288–289, provided a brief account and map. Freilich, Anadón, Bukala, Calderon, Chakraborty, and Boissinot, 2016, BMC Evol. Biol., 16 (206): 1–19, reported on the molecular phylogeography from both sides of the Great Rift in montane Ethiopia. Reyes-Velasco, Manthey, Freilich, and Boissinot, 2018, Mol. Ecol., 27: 2256–2270, discussed the molecular phylogenetics of the species of the Ethiopian highlands, showing nominal Leptopelis gramineus to be a species complex, with Leptopelis susanae being imbedded within the group. Stand by for the usual suspects to swoop in and name these out from under these authors (DRF). Channing and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 224–225, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map. Tiutenko and Zinenko, 2021, ZooKeys, 1023: 119–150, showed that nominal Leptopelis gramineus east and west of the Great Rift are different species, with the eastern population named Leptopelis diffidens. These authors also noted that nominal Leptopelis gramineus west of the Great Rift is composed of two lineages of which the northerly one is unnamed. 

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