Focussing on the vertebrate
 fauna of SE Asia
  

 

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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Amphibians of  Southeast Asia
 

Amphibians reach their greatest diversity in the tropics, particularly in the moist and hot environment of tropical rainforest and freshwater swamp forest.  Southeast Asia is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots for amphibians, where a remarkable evolutionary explosion has resulted in incredible diversity of form, colour and lifestyle: over 700 species occur in the region.  Frogs are to be found in the shallowest puddles, hiding under leaf litter, making their foam nests in streamside vegetation or calling incessantly from treeholes.

Frogs reach their greatest evolutionary expression in the diverse family of Asian Tree Frogs (Rhacophoridae), which includes the spectacular 'Flying Frogs', many of which have evolved extensive webbing between their toes which allows them to glide from tree to tree. Equally remarkable are the tiny Narrow-mouthed Frogs or Chorus Frogs (Microhylidae) : these are often heard but rarely seen, as they measure just 2 cm long. Their jumping ability is quite remarkable as they can easily leap more than a metre or so i.e. more than 50 times body length !

More than 70 of Southeast Asia's frogs are presented here ... and another 50 from Papua New Guinea are compiled on a separate page.

 
 

Asiatic Tailed Caecilians  (Ichthyophiidae)

             
         
Conservation Links :
 
   
Amphibian Specialist Group
Global Amphibian Assessment
Save The Frogs


 


 

Yellow-striped Caecilian
Ichthyophis sp.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


True Toads  (Bufonidae)   Members of the toad family are recognizable by their rough, warty skin (although this feature is not exclusive to toads). They possess a pair of raised, paratoid glands behind the eye, which secrete a cocktail of toxins when the toad is stressed, and which makes them unpalatable or poisonous to predators. As of 2016, AmphibiaWeb lists 596 species in this family, of which more than 60 occur in Southeast Asia.  Examples :
 

                 
       
Sukumaran's Slender Toad
Ansonia jeetsukumarani
 
  Tioman Slender Toad
Ansonia tiomanica
 
  Asian Toad
Duttaphrynus melanostictus
 
  Sulawesi Toad
Ingerophrynus celebensis
 
  Lesser Toad
Ingerophrynus parvus
   
       
Four-ridged Toad
I. quadriporcatus
  St. Andrew's Cross Toadlet
Pelophryne signata  
  River Toad 
Phrynoidis aspera 
  Brown Tree Toad 
Rentapia hosii
  Unidentified Toad
'Bufo sp.' (Panti Forest)  
                  

  
Litter Frogs, Horned Frogs etc.  (Megophryidae)   Globally, around 200 species of frog belong to this family, of which 100 or so occur in Southeast Asia.  They tend to inhabit forest floor settings, often hiding amongst leaf litter.  Some possess remarkable camouflage which mimics dead leaves, the Malayan Horned Frog Megrophrys nasuta being the best example of this adaptation.  Examples :
 

                 
       
Lowland Litter Frog
Leptobrachium abbotti
 
  Spotted Litter Frog
Leptobrachium hendricksoni
 
  Mountain Litter Frog
Leptobrachium montanum
 
  Black-eyed Litter Frog
Leptobrachium nigrops
 
  Smith's Litter Frog
Leptobrachium smithi
   
         
Litter Frog (Fraser's Hill) Leptolalax sp.    Kajang Slender Litter Frog
Leptolalax kajangensis
  Malayan Horned Frog
Megophrys nasuta
  Long-legged Horned Frog
Xenophrys longipes
   
 
 
                   

  
Fanged Frogs etc. 
(Dicroglossidae)   As of 2017, AmphibiaWeb lists 195 species of frog in 14 genera in this family. In Southeast Asia there are around 100 species, mainly in the genera Ferjervarya, Limnonectes and Occidozyga.  Fanged Frogs (or Fork-tongued Frogs) are so-called because they possess a notched tongue and a pair of sharp projections on the lower jaw. Most species are patterned in various shades of brown. Some species can adapt well to man-made, highly altered habitats.   Examples :
 

                 
       
Crab-eating Frog
Fejervarya cancrivora
 
  Field Frog
Fejervarya limnocharis
 
  Malayan Giant Frog
Limnonectes blythii
 
  Hill Forest Frog
Limnonectes hascheanus
 
  Nusa Tenggara Wart Frog
Limnonectes kadarsani
 
       
Kuhl's Creek Frog
Limnonectes kuhlii
 
  Corrugated Frog
Limnonectes laticeps
 
  Malesian Frog
Limnonectes malesianus
  
  Tanahrata Wart Frog
Limnonectes nitidus
 
  Masked Swamp Frog
Limnonectes paramacrodon
 
           
Rhinoceros Frog
Limnonectes plicatellus
  Green Puddle Frog
Occidozyga lima
  Yellow-bellied Puddle Frog
Occidozyga sumatrana 
 
 
   
 
                 

  
Typical Frogs  (Ranidae)   With nearly 400 species worldwide, the family Ranidae includes many examples which have a body shape best described as that of a 'typical' frog i.e. they have a pointed snout, elongated body and long hind legs which makes them excellent jumpers.  There are around 150 species in Southeast Asia, many of which are attractively patterned with spots and stripes and are various shades of green and brown. Nearly all are stream or swamp-forest dwellers.   Examples :
 

                 
       
Mahogany Frog
Abavorana luctuosa
 
  Larut Torrent Frog
Amolops larutensis
 
  Slashed-back Frog
Humerana miopus
 
  Golden-eared Rough-sided Frog   Hylarana baramica
 
  Common Greenback
Hylarana erythraea
 
       
Rough-sided Frog
Hylarana glandulosa
 
  Gnther's Frog
Hylarana guentheri
 
  Copper-cheeked Frog
Hylarana labialis
 
  Cricket Frog
Hylarana nicobariensis
 
  Black-striped Frog
Hylarana nigrovittata 
   
         
Poisonous Rock Frog
Odorrana hosii
  Masked Rough-sided Frog
Pulchrana laterimaculata  
  Spotted Stream Frog
Pulchrana picturata   
  Black-spotted Rock Frog
Staurois guttatus 
 
 
                 

Asian Tree Frogs   (Rhacophoridae)

                 
       
Spotted Tree Frog
Nyctixalus pictus
 
  Dwarf Bush Frog
Philautus parvulus
 
  Vermiculate Bush Frog
Philautus vermiculatus
 
  Four-lined Tree Frog
Polypedates leucomystax
 
Dark-eared Tree Frog
Polypedates macrotis
 
       
Brown Tree Frog
Polypedates megacephalus
 
File-eared Tree Frog
Polypedates otilophus
 
Frilled Tree Frog
Rhacophorus appendiculatus
 
Twin-spotted Flying Frog
Rhacophorus bipunctatus
 
Blue-spotted Bush Frog
R. cyanopunctatus
 
       
Jade Tree Frog
Rhacophorus dulitensis
  Wallace's Flying Frog
Rhacophorus nigropalmatus
  Norhayati's Flying Frog
Rhacophorus norhayatii
  Harlequin Flying Frog
Rhacophorus pardalis
  Malayan Flying Frog 
Rhacophorus prominanus
                 

Narrow-mouthed Frogs  (Microhylidae)

                 
       
Saffron-bellied Frog
Chaperina fusca
 
  Black-spotted Sticky Frog
Kalophrynus pleurostigma
 
  Brown Bullfrog
Kaloula baleata
 
  Banded Bullfrog
Kaloula pulchra
 
  Malayan Treehole Frog
Metaphrynella pollicaris
 
       
Bornean Treehole Frog
Metaphrynella sundana
 
  Painted Chorus Frog
Microhyla butleri
 
  Dark-sided Chorus Frog
Microhyla heymonsi
 
  Manthey's Chorus Frog
Microhyla mantheyi
 
  Pothole Chorus Frog
Microhyla petrigena   
 
                 

Commonly introduced non-Southeast Asian species :

                 
               
American Bullfrog
Lithobates catesbeiana
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                 

  See also ... Frogs of Papua New Guinea