Leptopelis – Big-eyed frogs

These frogs are known for their distinctive calls and large, expressive eyes

The genus Leptopelis, known as the African tree frogs, comprises a group of frogs that are as enigmatic as they are diverse. Found primarily in the forests and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa, these frogs are generally larger than their Hyperolius cousins, with some species growing up to four or five inches in length. They are most notable for their large eyes, which are not only striking but also functional, enhancing their vision in low-light conditions. Their skin colors can range from muted browns and greens to more vibrant hues, which help them blend into their leafy surroundings. These frogs also have a unique feature: a vertical pupil, which distinguishes them from many other frog species.

Leptopelis frogs are versatile in their habitat preferences but are primarily found in tropical rainforests and savanna woodlands. They are arboreal, spending much of their time in trees, although they descend to the ground to breed. Their choice of habitat is closely tied to the availability of water bodies, as they require them for breeding purposes.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Leptopelis frogs is their vocalizations. The males are known for their deep, booming calls, which can be heard resonating through the night air during the breeding season. These calls serve to attract females and assert territory. Additionally, they are primarily nocturnal, coming alive at night to feed on a diet of insects and other small invertebrates.