Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia


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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Banded Bullfrog

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6

Fig 7


Species : Kaloula pulchra
Size (snout to vent) :  Female 7.5 cm, male 7.0 cm

Play call

The Banded Bullfrog is a highly adaptable species able to survive in disturbed habitats including flooded grassland, roadside puddles and urban storm drains. By day it hides in holes in the ground, under leaf litter or in the crevices of walls or buildings.

The species is easily identified by the thick, black-edged, light brown to orange band which extends from the head along each side of the body. The upperside is dark to medium brown and the underside pale.

The mouth is wide, the head short and blunt and the eyes of moderate size. Generally chubby in form, it will inflate itself and exude sticky mucus when feeling threatened.

Despite its squat body shape and relatively short legs, the Banded Bullfrog can climb well and may ascend many metres into trees.

Its call is a loud, cattle-like bellow, which can be heard after heavy rain has created flooded pools in which the frogs assemble.

It feeds on small invertebrates, particularly ants and termites.

The Banded Bullfrog ranges from parts of southern India and Sri Lanka through Myanmar, Thailand and parts of southern China and Indochina to Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Flores.  In Singapore it is considered a highly successful introduced species.

Fig 1 : Climbing a steep tree trunk, Singapore..

Fig 2 : Banded Bullfrog preparing to feed on termites, Singapore.

Fig 3 : The head is rounded, and the snout blunt.

Fig 4 : Making an exit from a typical daytime hiding place - amongst flowerpots.

Fig 5 : Newly metamorphosed adult, measuring just 8 mm in length.

Fig 6 : Specimen from Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Fig 7 : Tadpoles found in a an abandoned concrete structure, in Singapore's secondary forest.

References : H2, H3, H4