|At a Glance|
|Size||up to 65mm|
|Mass||up to 200gram|
|Lifespan||Probably fairly long-lived – up to 10 years|
|Conservation Status||Least Concern|
The Natal Tree Frog is a large tree frog belonging to the family of frogs, Arthroleptidae, which is widespread across central Africa. A typical tree frog, it has large orange eyes and a broad mouth.
Its colouration is highly variable: Some may be bright green, others cream coloured, and some may be cream with olive-green blotches. It has long legs and sticky pads on their fingers that help them climb and jump between the branches of trees.
Its Latin name, Leptopelis, means “high hips” and these bony protrusions are usually very evident.
These frogs will often sit in the same position for hours on end.
The males call from prominent, usually elevated positions near water and will defend call sites vigorously, using aggressive territorial calls and physical combat. Calls are loud and audible over long distances.
Pairs go into amplexus in trees and then descend to the ground where they excavate a shallow burrow in soil in which the eggs are laid.
Insects (tadpoles feed on algae), possibly smaller frogs.
They lay their eggs in burrows in the ground close to water. Once hatched, the tadpoles wriggle through mud to open water to complete their development. The call is somewhat akin to "bwee YACK-yack". The first part of the call being described as a drawn-out eeeee buzz.
al forest and bushveld, sand forest, wetlands and riverine bush and occasionally grassland and savanna along the southern KwaZulu-Natal coast and down to Manubi in the Transkei.
Its natural habitats are temperate forests, temperate shrubland, subtropical forests, wetlands, intermittent freshwater marshes, and are commonly found in gardens. These frogs usually live in the foliage and branches of forest trees.
It is threatened by habitat loss through urban development and mechanised gardening equipment.
Quite common in the Kloof area and you are likely to find them along the streams and wetlands in Memorial Park. They prefer large flat leaves, and can be found very high up in trees. They are quite commonly found inside houses, on walls, in showers and sometimes in the toilet!
The females lay up to 200 yellowish eggs in a shallow burrow in soil or amongst dead leaves close to water. Tadpoles emerge after about two weeks, usually after heavy rain. After hatching the tadpoles wriggle to the water and are able to climb over stones and twigs to get there and may survive for weeks before getting to water. The fingers and toes are well-adapted to climbing and have sticky terminal discs. Contact with a single pad to a leaf or branch is sufficient to ensure a safe landing when the frog leaps through vegetation.
A sound clip is available on SoundCloud.