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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
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Rhinoceros Frog

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6






Species : Limnonectes plicatellus
Size (snout to vent) :
Female 3.4 cm,  Male 4.3 cm

Play call

Limnonectes plicatellus (Rhinoceros Frog or Penang Fanged Frog), is a relatively small inhabitant of freshwater swamp forest, slow-flowing muddy streams and boggy, waterlogged forest with muddy puddles. It is mainly a lowland species, but in suitable habitat can be found up to 1200 metres elevation. It is strictly terrestrial.

Its presence can best be detected by its distinctive call which is a continuous, low, rasping sound (with each louder portion of the call lasting around 3-4 seconds); this can sometimes be heard in the late afternoon, especially during overcast, cloudy conditions.

Its body colour is brown to orange brown, and the hind legs are sometimes greenish, with faint barring. A pale vertebral line may be present.

Its body form is short and robust, with muscular hind legs. The dorsum bears numerous ridges running from the nape to the posterior of the body.  

There is a significant degree of sexual dimorphism in the shape of the head; in males the skull is considerably larger than in females, and there is a small, raised 'horn' on the top of the skull, which the female lacks. Males are larger than females.

This species is known from southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia (including Penang Island and Fraser's Hill) and Singapore.

Figs 1 to 3 : Male examples from freshwater swamp forest and muddy, forest streams in Singapore's central forests.

Fig 4 : Boggy, waterlogged, freshwater swamp forest; Limnonectes plicatellus was heard calling from this spot.

Fig 5 : Male with pale vertebral line, and well-developed barring on the hind legs.

Fig 6 : Female example from a humid, waterlogged valley in Singapore.

References : H3