Leptopelis rufus Reichenow, 1874

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

Leptopelis rufus Reichenow, 1874, Arch. Naturgesch., 40: 291. Holotype: ZMB, lost, according to Perret, 1962, Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 65: 238; MHNG 1324.65 designated neotype by Perret, 1973, Ann. Fac. Sci. Cameroun, 15–16: 88; now located and ZMB 8223 by museum records, which renders the neotype invalid. Type locality: "Walde bei Victoria [now Limbé], am Fusse der Camerunberge", Cameroon; neotype from Nkondjock, Cameroon.

Hylambates rufusBoulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 136.

Leptopelis rufusNoble, 1924, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 49: 234, 332. Based on specimens of Leptopelis millsoni according to Laurent, 1941, Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 35: 97); Ahl, 1929, Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturforsch. Freunde Berlin, 1929: 204.

English Names

Red Treefrog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 69).


Rainforests from southeastern-most Nigeria, western Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, western Gabon, and lower Rep. Congo to lower Dem. Rep. Congo; expected in Cabinda enclave of Angola. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Congo, Republic of the, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria

Likely/Controversially Present: Angola


Redefined by Perret, 1973, Ann. Fac. Sci. Cameroun, 15–16: 81-90. For a long time before its reassessment, this species was confused with several others, particularly Leptopelis palmatus. De la Riva, 1994, Rev. Esp. Herpetol., 8: 131, provided a record for Equatorial Guinea. Lasso, Rial, Castroviejo, and De la Riva, 2002, Graellsia, 58: 21-34, provided notes on ecological distribution in Equatorial Guinea. See account for Cameroon by Amiet, 2012, Rainettes Cameroun: 544-550. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 118, reported on comparative tadpole morphology. Schiøtz, 1999, Treefrogs Afr.: 256–257, provided an account and map. Barej, Pfalzgraff, Hirschfeld, Liedtke, Penner, Gonwouo, Dahmen, Grözinger, Schmitz, and Rödel, 2015, Amph. Rept. Conserv., 9(2, Spec. Section): 56–84, reported on larval morphology. Baptista, Conradie, Vaz Pinto, and Branch, 2019, In Huntley, Russo, Lages, and Ferrand (eds.), Biodiversity in Angola: 258, doubted that this species is found in Angola. Dewynter and Frétey, 2019, Cah. Fondation Biotope, 27: 15, summarized the literature for Gabon and provided a photograph (p. 50). Channing and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 214–215, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map. See brief account, range map, and photographs for Equatorial Guinea in Sánchez-Vialas, Calvo-Revuelta, Castroviejo-Fisher, and De la Riva, 2020, Proc. California Acad. Sci., Ser. 4, 66: 137–230. Jaynes, Myers, Drewes, and Bell, 2021, Herpetol. J., 31: 162–169, reported on mtDNA,  acoustic, and morphological differences from Leptopelis palmatus.  Jaynes, Myers, Gvoždík, Blackburn, Portik, Greenbaum, Jongsma, Rödel, Badjedjea, Bamba-Kaya, Baptista, Akuboy, Ernst, Kouete, Kasumba, Masudi, McLaughlin, Nneji, Onadeko, Penner, Vaz Pinto, Stuart, Tobi, Zassi-Boulou, Leaché, Fujita, and Bell, 2022, Mol. Ecol., 31: 3979–3998, reported on molecular and morphological systematics, biogeography, and advertisement call.

External links:

Please note: these links will take you to external websites not affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. We are not responsible for their content.