Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia


SE Asia fauna ...  
 Large Mammals
 Small Mammals
 Mammal calls
 Lizards & Crocodilians
 Frog calls
Freshwater Fishes
 Marine & Brackish Fishes
Species Lists


New Guinea herptiles ...  
Snakes   Lizards   Frogs  
SE Asia Vert Records (SEAVR) archives ...  
  Indochina Records
  Indonesia & PNG Records
Philippines Vertebrate Records (PVR)  
Philippines Records  
Email :
  New or updated pages ...

Search this site ...




Email :

Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024










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. 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 !

Representative examples of Southeast Asia's frogs are presented here ... and examples from Papua New Guinea are compiled on a separate page.


Asiatic Tailed Caecilians  (Ichthyophiidae)

Conservation Links :

IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Amphibian Survival Alliance
Resource Links :


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 most 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
  Inger's Dwarf Toadlet
Pelophryne ingeri
River Toad 
Phrynoidis asper 
  Yellow-spotted Tree Toad 
Rentapia flavomaculata
  Brown Tree Toad 
Rentapia hosii
Unidentified Toad
'Bufo sp.' 

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 Pelobatrachus nasutus us 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
Pelobatrachus nasutus
  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
  Brackish Frog
Fejervarya moodiei
Malayan Giant Frog
Limnonectes blythii
  Corrugated Frog
Limnonectes deinodon
  Hill Forest Frog
Limnonectes hascheanus
  Nusa Tenggara Wart Frog
Limnonectes kadarsani
  Kuhl's Creek Frog
Limnonectes kuhlii
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
  Cricket Frog
Amnirana nicobariensis
  Southern Torrent Frog
Amolops australis
  Tuberculated Torrent Frog
Amolops gerutu
  Larut Torrent Frog
Amolops larutensis
Copper-cheeked Frog
Chalcorana cf. labialis
  Slashed-back Frog
Humerana miopus
  Common Greenback
Hylarana erythraea
  Black-striped Frog
Hylarana nigrovittata 
  Poisonous Rock Frog
Odorrana hosii
Banjaran Frog
Pulchrana banjarana 
  Golden-eared Rough-sided Frog   Pulchrana baramica
  Rough-sided Frog
Pulchrana glandulosa
  Masked Rough-sided Frog
Pulchrana laterimaculata
  Western Sunda Spotted Stream Frog
Pulchrana sundabarat      
Black-spotted Rock Frog
Staurois guttatus   
  Gnther's Frog
Sylvirana guentheri   

Asian Tree Frogs   (Rhacophoridae)   AmphibiaWeb lists around 400 species in this family, of which more than 100 occur in Southeast Asia: these are mainly arboreal tree frogs, many of which lay their eggs in bubble nests suspended from vegetation. The group includes numerous species of the genus Philautus, known as bush frogs, but the most spectacular are the Rhacophorus flying frogs which have evolved extensive webbing between their toes which allows them to glide from tree to tree, high up in the canopy.  Examples :

White-eared Tree Frog
Feihyla kajau
  Frilled Tree Frog
Kurixalus chaseni
  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
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)  Within Southeast Asia this family is dominated by tiny, terrestrial frogs of the genus Microhyla (and Glyphoglossus), which spend much of their lives concealed in areas of waterlogged grass, or beneath leaf litter. Larger frogs include members of the genus Kaloula. In eastern Indonesia and New Guinea this family includes an abundance of species of the genera Austrochaperina, Callulops, Cophixalus, Hylophorbus, Oreophryne and others. Examples of these can be viewed in the New Guinea Frogs pages. Below are some examples from western parts of Southeast Asia :

Saffron-bellied Frog
Chaperina fusca
  Balloon Frog
Glyphoglossus molossus
  Black-spotted Sticky Frog
Kalophrynus pleurostigma
  Brown Bullfrog
Kaloula baleata
  Banded Bullfrog
Kaloula pulchra
Malayan Treehole Frog
Metaphrynella pollicaris
  Bornean Treehole Frog
Metaphrynella sundana
Larut Hills Chorus Frog
Microhyla (Nanohyla) annectens
Bornean Chorus Frog
Microhyla borneensis
  Painted Chorus Frog
Microhyla butleri
Dark-sided Chorus Frog
Microhyla heymonsi
  Manthey's Chorus Frog
Microhyla mantheyi
Pothole Chorus Frog
Microhyla (Nanohyla) petrigena
  Beautiful Pygmy Frog
Microhyla pulchra   

Commonly introduced non-Southeast Asian species :

American Bullfrog
Lithobates catesbeiana

  See also ... Frogs of Papua New Guinea