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







Black-spotted Sticky Frog

Fig 1

Fig 2




















Species : Kalophrynus pleurostigma
Size (snout to vent) :  Female 5.8 cm, Male 5.0 cm

Play call

This species inhabits the leaf litter on the floor of primary rainforest. It is largely nocturnal, but its call, a softly repeated 'whoop, whoop', may be heard on overcast afternoons. 

Its body is triangular in shape, its limbs are relatively slender, and a distinct pale margin separates the dorsal surface from the flanks. Generally there are small dark spots scattered on the brown dorsal surface, but these may sometimes be absent. Instead there may be symmetrical patterns of light and dark brown skin in some populations, and other populations may be plain orange. A sticky substance is exuded by the skin, probably to deter predators.

The key identifier for this species is the presence of 'ocelli' or eyes in the groin area : these comprise a central dark spot surrounded by a white or patterned patch.

Its diet comprises mainly insects. Tadpoles of the species may be found in the smallest accumulations of water, for example in water trapped in fallen logs, or in tree holes.

The Black-spotted Sticky Frog ranges from southern China, Myanmar and Thailand through Peninsular Malaysia to Sumatra, Java, Borneo and parts of the Philippines. The species does not occur in Singapore : the local population of Kalophrynus previously referred to as K. pleurostigma is now assigned as K. limbooliati.

Fig 1 : Adult specimen from Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 2 : Close-up of the 'ocellus' located in the groin area. This comprises a central black spot on a patterned white background.

References : H2, H3