The genus Leptopelis is composed of 51 morphologically conserved anurans which are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. We describe a new species of Leptopelis from the Itombwe Plateau, a renowned center of endemism in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The new species is included in a well-supported polytomy with populations of the widespread Albertine Rift-endemic Leptopelis karissimbensis. We recognize the new species based on DNA sequence divergence and distinctive components of morphological, ecological, and advertisement call data. The distinct calls between the recently diverged new species and the partially sympatric taxon L. karissimbensis are a likely consequence of reinforcement of species boundaries. Our recognition of the new species emphasizes the endemism and biodiversity of the Itombwe Plateau, a portion of which recently became protected as a natural reserve, but multiple anthropogenic threats are a continued cause for concern.
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Vol. 70 • No. 1