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







Norhayati's Flying Frog

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Species : Rhacophorus norhayatii
Size (snout to vent) :
Males up to 6.5 cm, females up to 8.3 cm.

Play call

Norhayati's Flying Frog inhabits primary and tall secondary, lowland and hill forest mainly in Peninsular Malaysia. It has been recorded at a maximum elevation of 1500 metres, at Cameron Highlands.

Like other flying frogs, this species typically spends much of its time hidden from view in the forest canopy. During rainy periods, however, when temporary pools are formed on the forest floor, these frogs will descend to lower levels and congregate in vegetation a few metres above the ground. At such times their distinctive call, which sounds like two hollow sticks being knocked together, may be heard late afternoon or after dusk.

This species was first described in 2010 (Chan & Grismer, 2010). Prior to that time, it was considered part of the Reinwardt's Flying Frog Rhacophorus reinwardtii species complex.

This beautiful frog is easily identifiable on the basis of its colours. The dorsal surface of the body and limbs, and the upper portion of the flanks, are bright green and lack spots or other markings. The lower flanks are mottled orange and black, with small blue spots and lines. The underside of the body and throat are white to pale grey, mottled with small dark spots.

The hands and feet are all fully webbed, as is typical for the genus Rhacophorus, and the webbing is blue and black. The eyes are large, with pale grey iris, and immediately behind the eye the external eardrum is large and round.

This species occurs widely in Peninsular Malaysia. In Thailand it occurs in the extreme south, and in a small area of west-central Thailand near the border with Myanmar.

Fig 1 : This specimen was heard calling around 7 pm from a sapling next to a temporary pool in primary forest. It was perched around 2.5 metres above the ground.

Fig 2 : A second specimen from the same area, in low vegetation around 5 metres from the same pool.

Fig 3 : Close-up of the same specimen as in Figure 1, which exhibits typical colour and patterning for the species.

Images 1 to 3 from Gunung Pulai, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia at around 150 metres elevation.

Fig 4 : Pair in amplexus, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.  Photo thanks to Law Ing Sind.

References :

Chan, K. O., Grismer, L. L.  2010. Re-assessment of the Reinwardt痴 Gliding Frog, Rhacophorus reinwardtii (Schlegel 1840) (Anura: Rhacophoridae) in Southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia and its re-description as a new species. Zootaxa 2505: 4050


Fig 4
ゥ  Law Ing Sind