Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia


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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Asian Toad

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Species : Duttaphrynus melanostictus
Size (snout to vent) :
Females 11.5 cm, males 8.5 cm.

Play call

One of the commonest of true toads in Southeast Asia, it occurs in a variety of habitats in both rural and urban areas.


  Top : the tadpoles are small in size and  black ventrally.  
Middle : the ventral side is pale.
Bottom : close-up of the mouthparts

At night it can easily be found on grass lawns, and on paths and roads. Concretised drains are also a favoured habitat, and the species can withstand brackish water. 

There is considerable colour variation, but the species is easily identified by the presence of pronounced paratoid glands (a raised ridge behind the eye) and the lines of warts along the back and sides. 

This is a widespread species. As a native it occurs in the Indian subcontinent (including parts of Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka), southern China (including Hong Kong, Taiwan) throughout all countries of mainland Southeast Asia, and offshore to the islands of Sumatra, Borneo and Java. The species has been introduced to many islands further east including at least Bali, and various localities in Sulawesi, Timor-Leste and New Guinea.


Fig 1 : Specimen found at the base of a limestone cliff near sea level, at Cat Ba Island, Vietnam.

Fig 2 : Mating pair 'in amplexus', Singapore.

Fig 3 : Specimen from freshwater swamp habitat, Sedili Besar, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 4 : Pale grey specimen at Sungei Buloh, Singapore.

Fig 5 : Brightly coloured specimen at Siem Reap, Cambodia.

References : H2, H3