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







Brown Tree Toad

Fig 1

Fig 2













Species : Rentapia hosii
Size (snout to vent) :  Female 10.5 cm, Male 7.5 cm

Rentapia hosii (Brown Tree Toad) is a member of a small group of toads which appear to be the only examples of truly arboreal toads. This species is only known from the island of Borneo.

Rentapia hosii inhabits lowland primary forest or mature secondary forest. It descends to ground level when preparing to breed; eggs are laid in quiet pools, typically near forest streams.

In the field, females of this species can be identified by their colouration and patterning; the dorsum is dark grey to dark brown and is covered either with yellowish 'reticulate' markings (i.e. not rounded spots), or pale brown spots. The underside is more pale and lacks markings. The dorsum of males is brown to reddish-brown, with no distinct markings, and the underside is more pale.

Reference should be made to Chan et al (2020) for a detailed description of the variability of Rentapia hosii and the closely-related Rentapia flavomaculata (Yellow-spotted Tree Toad) from the malay peninsula.

The Brown Tree Toad in Borneo appears to have 2 separate lineages, with those from the northeastern state of Sabah appearing different to other localities; further study may reveal these to be separate species (Chan et al, 2020).

Fig 1 : Male example from Lambir Hills National Park, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo found squatting by the edge of a slow-flowing forest stream in degraded primary forest. It is likely this toad had descended from the canopy to the banks of the stream to breed.

Fig 2 : Shallow stream with muddy substrate at Lambir Hills; the example Rentapia hosii in Figure 1 was found in this habitat.

References :

Chan, K. O., Abraham, R. K., & Badli-Sham, B. H. (2020). A revision of the Asian tree toad complex Rentapia hosii (Anura: Bufonidae) with the description of a new species from Peninsular Malaysia. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 68: 595-607.