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Cave Squeaker

Arthroleptis troglodytes


The cave squeaker frog has not been seen since 1962, where 16 individuals were found and it was discovered as a new species.

The genus Arthroleptis diverged within the squeaker frog family about 70 million years ago in the late cretaceous period, 5 million years before the extinction of the dinosaurs, making them as different from their closest relatives as camels are to whales and at a time when pigs and giraffes shared a common ancestor! This is a very poorly known species and hardly anything is known about its ecology and behaviour. There is also very little direct information about the threats to do this species. There are both diamond and gold mining activities locally which is likely to have made an impact on the habitat of this species. As an isolated montane species, it is also likely at risk due to climate change and high temperatures pushing the frogs further up mountainous regions to maintain the same habitat they live in, and therefore contracting their ranges. The area from which this species has been recorded is protected, primarily in the Chimanimani National Park, but the level and effectiveness of this protection unknown.

  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Arthroleptidae
  • Population: Possibly extinct
  • Trend: unknown
  • Size: 25mm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.91 (?)
ED Score: 22.13 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


This species is known from the western Chimanimani Mountains in eastern Zimbabwe, 1,500 metres above sea level.

Habitat and Ecology

Specimens were collected in sinkholes or caves and a few were found in open montane grassland.

Find out more

This wordcloud illustrates the threats facing this species. The size of each word indicates the extent of a species range that is affected by that threat (larger size means a greater area is affected). The colour of the word indicates how much that threat impacts the species (darker shades of red mean the threat is more severe).

Habitat change Mining

Threat wordcloud key:

Small area affected
Large area affected
Least severe
Most severe
Severity unknown
Source: The IUCN List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1.
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