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St. Andrew's Cross Toadlet
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family : BUFONIDAE
Species : Pelophryne signata
Size (snout to vent) : 2.5 cm

St. Andrew's Cross Toadlet, or Lowland Dwarf Toad, is a diminutive species of toad which appears to be largely confined to lowland primary forest.

Fully grown adults of the species measure just 25 mm snout-to-vent, and most specimens are considerably smaller than this measuring around 15 mm.

Typically this small toad is encountered sitting in the middle of broad leaves on low shrubs at around 1.0 to 1.5 metres from the ground.

The eggs are laid in 'phytothelms' which, for this species, are small accumulations of water in the crooks of trees. The tadpoles remain in such water bodies until they have metamorphosed into tiny, young toads.  Leong & Teo (2009) described an example of tadpoles being found in a phytothelm at Bukit Timah, Singapore.

The name 'St. Andrew's Cross Toadlet' refers to the cross-shaped arrangement of dark bands which, with some imagination, can be discerned on the upper flanks.

The dorsal surface is mottled light and dark brown, with numerous spots and tubercles of orange-red and yellow. The area below the eye, the throat and the underside are pale yellow with scattered black spots.

The head is relatively large in comparison with the body, and the snout is short and blunt. The forelimbs and hindlimbs are slender, and there is minimal webbing between the fingers and toes.

This species occurs in Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Natuna Islands and Borneo.


Figs 1 and 2: Specimen of around 15 mm snout-to-vent
found resting on a leaf around 1.5 metres above the forest floor.  Found in lowland, primary forest at Bukit Timah, Singapore.


References :

Leong, T. M. & S. C. Teo, 2009. Endotrophic tadpoles of the Saint Andrew痴 Cross toadlet, Pelophryne signata (Amphibia: Anura: Bufonidae) in Singapore. Nature in Singapore, 2: 2125.


Thanks to Noel Thomas for spotting this tiny, elusive toad.