Arthroleptella lightfooti 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Pyxicephalidae

Scientific Name: Arthroleptella lightfooti (Boulenger, 1910)
Common Name(s):
English Lightfoot’s Moss Frog
Arthroleptis lightfooti Boulenger, 1910
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2016. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (31 March 2016). New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-07-27
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group & South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG)
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Channing, A., Rebelo, A., Turner, A.A., de Villiers, A., Becker, F., Harvey, J., Tarrant, J., Measey, J., Tolley, K., Minter, L., du Preez, L., Burger, M., Cunningham, M., Baptista, N., Hopkins, R., Davies, S., Conradie, W. & Chapeta, Y.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Rebelo, A., Garollo, E., Measey, J. & Neam, K.
Listed as Near Threatened because, although its a small extent of occurrence (453 km2), extreme fluctuations in number of mature individuals and subpopulations and small number of locations, it is relatively abundant and the current threats are not considered to be too severe. However, future decline in the extent and quality of its habitat might led this species to become threatened.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the Table Mountain and the other mountains of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, where it occurs from sea level up to 1,000 m asl. It is known from four locations and its extent of occurrence is 453 km2.
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (Western Cape)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:256.86Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:453.04
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:4
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This species appears to be relatively abundant on the Cape Peninsula. Fire and post-fire impacts on number of mature individuals are expected to cause large fluctuations in subpopulation sizes (as in other members of this genus).

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:YesPopulation severely fragmented:No
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is a species of fynbos heathland and forest that does not survive in developed areas. Breeding is by direct development, with 5-12 eggs being laid in moss or similar vegetation in wet mossy areas near rivers, hillside or roadside seepages, and heavily vegetated streams.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no records of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Even though its habitat is largely protected, the major threats to this species are the spread of alien species (in particular pines) and too frequent or intense fires which may cause extreme population fluctuations. Increased tourism in the area needs to be properly managed to minimise impact. There has probably been some loss of habitat in the past due to urban development and pine plantations on parts of the mountains.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
No conservation actions are currently prioritised for this species. Most of this species' range is in Table Mountain National Park and Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens.

Conservation Needed
Results from research need to be placed into a management framework for active conservation measures, inclusive of invasive species control, and potential impacts from tourism need to be properly managed.

Research Needed
Studies on its population size, distribution and trends, life history and ecology, and threats are needed.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group & South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG). 2016. Arthroleptella lightfooti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T58061A77157902. . Downloaded on 19 July 2018.
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