Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia


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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
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Copper-cheeked Frog

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6

Fig 7



Family : RANIDAE
Species : Chalcorana cf. labialis
Size (snout to vent) :
Female 7 cm,  Male 4.5 cm

Play call

The Copper-cheeked Frog (or White-lipped Frog) occurs in shallow streams in lowland primary forest, adjacent secondary forest, and freshwater swamp forest.

The taxonomy of this and other closely-related frogs in the region, which are similar in appearance, is not fully defined. The images on this page should be treated as comprising a species group, rather than a single species. 

Adult frogs generally perch low down on streamside branches or fallen forest debris. They are moderately small in size, measuring up to 7 cm but generally less than 4 cm. Their unusual call sounds somewhat like dripping water.

Skin colour can be variable, comprising various shades of green, yellow and brown with minor speckling on the dorsum and hind legs. The species is best identified by the large, brown eardrum, and white lips.

The snout is pointed, and there is generally a dark stripe extending from the eye to the snout.

The hind legs are long and slender, and the fingers and toes have rounded pads.

The distinctive tadpoles of these frogs (see images below) occur in quiet, silty shallow pools next to forest streams.

Frogs in this species group range from southern Thailand, through Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, to the islands of Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi.

Fig 1 : In primary lowland forest at Kota Tinggi, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 2 : In primary lowland forest at Danum Valley, Sabah, Borneo.

Fig 3 : Next to a clear, mountain stream at Gunung Pulai, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 4 : Clinging to streamside grasses in freshwater swamp forest, Singapore.

Fig 5 : Pale specimen from Singapore's central forests.

Fig 6 : Green specimen from Singapore's central forests.

Fig 7 : Specimen from a narrow stream in coastal forests at Pulau Sugi, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia.

References : H2, H3

Inger, R. F., Stuart, B. L., & Iskandar, D. T. (2009). Systematics of a widespread southeast Asian frog, Rana chalconota (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 155(1), 123-147.


  Metamorphosis ...  
  Spawn with developing tadpoles.
  The tadpole's skin is transparent.
  An 'emergent' still possessing a tail.
  The tail will gradually be absorbed into the frog's body in the final stage of metamorphosis.