The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Brown-backed Tree Frog

Afrikaans name: Bruinrugboompadda

Brown-backed Tree Frog

Brown-backed Tree Frog

Photo © EcoView -

Leptopelis mossambicus

The Brown-backed Tree Frog can reach a length of 5 to 6 cm. They are light brown on the back with a mark in the shape of a horseshoe. Their underparts are whitish. Juveniles are green. They have a box-shaped body that make them look quite stocky. They do not have much webbing between their toes.

In South Africa they can only be found in northern KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Mpumalanga and Limpopo. Further north, beyond South Africa’s borders, they are also known as the Mozambique Tree Frog.

The Brown-backed Tree Frog is found in woodland and savanna habitat near pans. They climb into trees at night but spend their days buried in the sand. They also hibernate in the sand during the dry winter season.

References and further reading

Frogs & Frogging in South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Vincent Carruthers - Published: 2001 - Page: 59

Frogs & Frogging in South Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Vincent Carruthers and Louis du Preez - Published: 2011 - Page: 64

Sasol First Field Guide to Frogs of Southern Africa - Author: Vincent Carruthers - Published: 2012 - Page: 30

Reptiles & Amphibians of Southern Africa - Author: Warren Schmidt - Published: 2006 - Page: 103

Freshwater Life - Author: C. Griffiths, J. Day & M. Picker - Published: 2015 - Page: 76

A complete guide to the Frogs of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: L du Preez & V Carruthers - Published: 2009 - Page: 96


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