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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020



Brown Tree Toad

Fig 1

Fig 2













Species : Rentapia hosii
Size (snout to vent) :  Female 10.5 cm, Male 7.8 cm

The Brown Tree Toad, or Yellow-spotted Tree Toad, is a member of a small group of toads in the genus Rentapia (formerly considered part of the genus Pedostibes) which appear to be the only examples of truly arboreal toads. Figure 2 is an example seen high in the forest canopy in Peninsular Malaysia at an estimated height of around 25 metres.

This species inhabits lowland primary forest or mature secondary forest. It is typically only seen at ground level when adults descend from the canopy to breed in quiet pools next to forest streams.  

Their diet comprises mainly insects, particularly ants.

This toad can be identified in the field by its relatively large size, its long, slender legs and its long fingers. The paratoid gland behind the eye is small. Males are typically mottled brown, whereas females are quite different patterned: females from Borneo may blackish/purplish with yellow spots and vermiculations or may be uniformly brown, whilst females from Peninsular Malaysia are a striking green with yellow spots.

The Brown Tree Toad occurs in southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo.

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

Fig 2 : This female specimen from Taman Negara, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia was seen around 25 metres up in the forest canopy near a fast-flowing river fed by small, muddy tributaries. The pale underside of the throat bears yellow spots, and the sides of the head appear to be greenish.

References : H19

Chan, K. O., Grismer, L. L., Zachariah, A., Brown, R. M., & Abraham, R. K. (2016). Polyphyly of Asian tree toads, Genus Pedostibes Gnther, 1876 (Anura: Bufonidae), and the description of a new genus from Southeast Asia. PloS one, 11(1), e0145903.