Leptopelis is a genus of frogs in the family Arthroleptidae. They are found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa,[1] excluding Madagascar.[2] It is placed in monotypic subfamily Leptopelinae,[3][4] although this subfamily is not always recognized.[2] They have a number of common names, including forest treefrogs, tree frogs, leaf-frogs,[1] and big-eyed frogs.[5]

Leptopelis aubryi on leaf.jpg
Leptopelis aubryi, the type species
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Arthroleptidae
Subfamily: Leptopelinae
Laurent, 1972
Genus: Leptopelis
Günther, 1859
Type species
Hyla aubryi
Duméril, 1856

54 species (see text)

  • Pseudocassina Ahl, 1924
  • Elaphromantis Laurent, 1941
  • Heteropelis Laurent, 1941
  • Taphriomantis Laurent, 1941
  • Habrahyla Goin, 1961


Leptopelis are mostly medium-sized frogs (snout–vent length 26–42 mm (1.0–1.7 in)), but Leptopelis palmatus can reach 87 mm (3.4 in).[4] Tympanum is present. Most species have expended digit tips.[2]


Leptopelis are mainly arboreal, but some species, especially in more arid areas, are terrestrial or even subfossorial.[2][4] Breeding typically starts with the heavy rains in the beginning of the wet season. Eggs may be deposited either in water or in/on the ground. Development includes a free-living tadpole stage, with a possible exception of Leptopelis brevirostris, whose large eggs suggest that development could be direct.[4] Males typically call in bushes or trees a meter or more above the ground.[2]


As of July 2021, there are 54 recognized species:[1]

In captivityEdit

L. vermiculatus is found in international pet trade.[6] They are hardy frogs that adapt well to captivity, and readily consume commercially available crickets.


  1. ^ a b c d Frost, Darrel R. (2018). "Leptopelis Günther, 1859". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Blackburn, David C. (2011). "Family Arthroleptidae". AmphibiaWeb. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  3. ^ Frost, Darrel R. (2018). "Leptopelinae Laurent, 1972". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Vitt, Laurie J. & Caldwell, Janalee P. (2014). Herpetology: An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles (4th ed.). Academic Press. pp. 514–515.
  5. ^ "Big-eyed Frogs (Genus Leptopelis)". iNaturalist. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  6. ^ IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (2014). "Leptopelis vermiculatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2014: e.T56284A3037319. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-1.RLTS.T56284A3037319.en.