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







Gόnther's Frog

Fig 1

Fig 2

Family : RANIDAE
Species : Sylvirana guentheri
Size (snout to vent) : typically up to 8 cm, sometimes larger.

Play call

Gόnther's Frog is a medium to large sized ranid, or typical frog. In its natural habitat it occurs in swamps, marshes and streams, but it has adapted well to rice fields and manmade ponds.

Another name for this frog is 'Brown and Tan Amoy Frog', after the coastal city in China from where it was first described (the city is now called Xiamen).

It is smooth skinned, and has a well developed 'dorsolateral' ridge on each side which separates the upper flank from the back. Its front feet are webbed and its hind feet are strongly webbed.

Its colouration comprises various shades of brown. Its back is medium brown, and its flanks are dark brown immediately below the dorsolateral ridges and mottled pale brown on the lower flanks. Its underside is white, and its hind legs possess thick dark brown bars.

Its call is a loud double croak, typically emitted whilst floating in the water. This can easily be heard late afternoon to early evening.

Gόnther's Frog ranges from southern China (including Hong Kong, Hainan and Taiwan) to northern and central Vietnam. The species has also been introduced to the island of Guam, in the western Pacific.

Its call was first heard in Singapore in 1997 and it has since become widely established in ornamental ponds in parks and gardens.

Figs 1 and 2 : Example from Dempsey Hill, Singapore with vocal sacs inflated (Fig. 1) and deflated (Fig. 2).

Fig 3 : Large adult from Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo thanks to Noel Thomas.

References : H17

Leong, T. M. & Lim, K. K. (2011). Occurrence of Gόnther’s Frog, Sylvirana guentheri (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae) in Singapore. Nature in Singapore, 4, 135-141.



Fig 3
© Noel Thomas