Arthroleptis wahlbergi Smith, 1849
Bush Squeaker, Boskikker (A)
Currently accepted name: Arthroleptis wahlbergi
Red listing status: Least Concern
Photo by Douglas M, 2012. URL: FrogMAP: 465
A. wahlbergi is endemic to the east coast of South Africa, from just south of Port St Johns (3129CD) northward to the Mozambique border (2632DD). In KwaZulu-Natal, its range extends inland to altitudes of c.1000 m in the mist belt, where it is particularly common. Although adults are difficult to find, the distinctive, loud advertisement call is a reliable means of identification and the atlas distribution data are therefore reasonably comprehensive and reliable.
This is a forest species but it is also found in adjacent thickets and grassland where there is dense cover and accumulations of leaf litter. The frogs are common where they occur and are frequently resident in gardens and even in alien tree plantations. Annual rainfall in the distribution range is 500–750 mm, and falls in summer.
Breeding takes place during spring and summer, with calling commencing immediately after rain (Channing 2001). In wet weather, males may be heard calling throughout the day and night from concealed positions in leaf litter. Clutches of 11–30 eggs are laid in damp leaf litter and develop directly into froglets which hatch and leave the nest after approximately four weeks (Wager 1986).
Food items include woodlice and other crustaceans, beetles and, probably, other small insects that live in the leaf litter (Wager 1986). Predators of A. wahlbergi have not been recorded.
Although A. wahlbergi is not classified as threatened, in places its habitat is under pressure from housing development and the clearing of bush for agriculture. More detailed distribution information is needed to evaluate the species’ local conservation status. Where only small-scale disturbances occur, these frogs are able to recolonize gardens and similar areas of lush vegetation.
Current distribution map
Undated records; pre-1996; 1996 to 2002; 2003 to present
FrogMAP. 2023. Arthroleptis wahlbergi Smith, 1849. Animal Demography Unit. Accessed from http://frogmap.adu.org.za/?sp=140; on 2023-12-01 08:12:45.
Minter L.R., Burger M., Harrison J.A., Braack H.H., Bishop P.J. & Kloepfer D. (eds). 2004. Atlas and Red Data book of the frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. SI/MAB Series no. 9. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Published by the Smithsonian Institution and the Avian Demography Unit (now Animal Demography Unit).