Arthroleptella Hewitt, 1926

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Pyxicephalidae > Subfamily: Cacosterninae > Genus: Arthroleptella
10 species

Arthroleptella Hewitt, 1926, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., 20: 426. Type species: Arthroleptis lightfooti Boulenger, 1910, by original designation.

ArthroleptellaLaurent, 1941, Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 34: 208. Consideration as a subgenus of Phrynobatrachus.

English Names

Chirping Frogs (Rose, 1950, Rep. Amph. S. Afr.: 104; Rose, 1962, Rep. Amph. S. Afr., Ed. 2: 71; Passmore and Carruthers, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 19: 6; Passmore and Carruthers, 1979, S. Afr. Frogs: 190).

Bandit Frogs (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 98).

Moss Frogs (Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 274; Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 346).


Western and Eastern Cape Provinces and KwaZulu-Natal, Rep. South Africa.


Channing, Hendricks, and Dawood, 1994, S. Afr. J. Zool., 29: 240–243, briefly discussed phylogenetic relationships and differences among the four species of the western Cape region. Regarded as a subgenus of Phrynobatrachus by Laurent, 1941, Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 34: 192–234. Dawood and Channing, 2000, J. Herpetol., 34: 375–379, provided a discussion of the phylogeny of the species. Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 274–284, and Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 346–361, provided keys and accounts of the species. Turner, De Villiers, Dawood, and Channing, 2004, Afr. J. Herpetol., 53: 1–12, provided a cladogram based on mtDNA which provided the topology: (Arthroleptella lightfooti + Arthroleptella villiersi) ((Arthroleptella bicolor + Arthroleptella subvoce)(Arthroleptella drewesii + Arthroleptella landdrosia + Arthroleptella unnamed species)). Turner and Channing, 2008, Afr. J. Herpetol., 57: 1–12, also provided a molecular tree that included the new species Arthroleptella rugosa close to Arthroleptella lightfooti and Arthroleptella villiersi. Dawood and Stam, 2006, S. Afr. J. Sci., 102: 249–253, discussed the phylogenetics of the taxon. See comment under Anhydrophryne. van der Meijden, Crottini, Tarrant, Turner, and Vences, 2011, Afr. J. Herpetol., 60: 1–12, suggested that Arthroleptella is the sister taxon of Natalobatrachus, a result confirmed by Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583. Turner and Channing, 2017, Afr. J. Herpetol., 66: 53–78, provided a Bayesian molecular consensus tree of the relationships within ArthroleptellaChanning and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 364–367, provided brief accounts, photographs, and range maps for the species. 

Contained taxa (10 sp.):

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