Leiopelma hochstetteri


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Leiopelma hochstetteri
Species Authority: Fitzinger, 1861
Common Name(s):
English Hochstetter's Frog
Taxonomic Notes: Recent genetic studies suggest that this species, as currently recognized, represents a species complex.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A3e; B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-01-09
Assessor(s): Ben Bell, Mandy Tocher, Philip Bishop, Bruce Waldman
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)
Listed as Vulnerable because of a projected population decline, estimated to be more than 30% over the next ten years due to chytridiomycosis; and because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 20,000km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is an ongoing decline in the extent and quality of the species habitat.
2004 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known from numerous localities in northern North Island, New Zealand.
New Zealand
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is a common species.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This semi-aquatic species can be found alongside forested creeks and watercourses, mostly in native forest, but surviving to some extent in modified habitats such as farmland and exotic forest. It lays large unpigmented eggs in damp situations on the ground, which then undergo direct development without a larval stage.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Disease (chytridiomycosis) will most likely be a major threat to this species in the near future, as it has recently been identified in the related L. archeyi. This species co-exists with introduced mammalian predators (such as Rattus rattus, Mustela erminea), but their long-term impact on the species is uncertain. Habitat loss, due to the conversion of native habitat to pine plantations, is certainly a threat, as is the siltation of breeding streams that takes place as a result of logging and road building activities.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The NZ Department of Conservation (DOC), through its Native Frog Recovery Group and Native Frog Recovery Plan, administers conservation management of this species and permits appropriate species research. Possible declines, and the identity of chytrid fungus in Leiopelma archeyi, have stimulated urgent research and management of the two species, including studies on pathology, population monitoring, captive management and molecular research. This involves DOC and Canterbury, Massey, Otago, and Victoria Universities. Recent studies have suggested that this species might comprise cryptic species, and hence taxonomic research is recommended to resolve this taxonomic issue.

Bibliography [top]

Bell, B.D. 1978. Observations on the ecology and reproduction of the New Zealand native frogs. Herpetologica: 340-354.

Bell, B.D. 1985. Development and parental-care in the endemic New Zealand frogs. In: Grigg, G., Shine, R. and Ehmann, H. (eds), Biology of Australasian Frogs and Reptiles, pp. 269-278. Surrey Beatty and Sons Pty Ltd, Chipping Norton, NSW.

Bell, B.D. 1996. Aspects of the ecological management of New Zealand frogs: conservation status, location, identification, examination and survey techniques. Ecological Management: 91-111.

Bowsher, J.H. 2000. Intraspecific genetic variation in New Zealand's endemic frog, Liopelma hochstetteri. MSc thesis, University of Canterbury, Christchurch.

Fitzinger, L.J. 1861. Eine neue Batrachier-Gattung aus New-Seeland. Verhandlungen der Zoologisch-botanischen Gesellschaft in Wein: 217.

Gill, B.J., Whitaker, A.H. 1996. New Zealand Frogs and Reptiles. Bateman, Auckland.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.2). Available at: (Accessed: 29 June 2010).

Newman, D.G. 1996. Native frog (Leiopelma spp.) Recovery Plan. Threatened Species Recovery Plan: 40p.

Stephenson, E.M., Stephenson, N.G. 1957. Field observations on the New Zealand frog, Leiopelma. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand: 867-882.

Citation: Ben Bell, Mandy Tocher, Philip Bishop, Bruce Waldman 2010. Leiopelma hochstetteri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 29 August 2015.
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