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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Southern Torrent Frog

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6



Family : RANIDAE
Species : Amolops australis
Size (snout to vent) :
Female 4.7 cm, Male 3.1 cm

Torrent Frogs, or Cascade Frogs, are adapted to life amongst the torrents, rapids and waterfalls  which cascade out of Southeast Asia's hilly or montane rainforests.

The Southern Torrent Frog Amolops australis,   can typically be found clinging to boulders just above the stream level, however if disturbed these frogs do not hesitate to leap into the fiercest flowing water, only to emerge moments later clinging to another rock downstream. The species appears to be both diurnal and nocturnal: it can be seen easily by day at Sungai Bantang, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

The tadpoles of this and other Amolops species have a modified lower lip which acts as a sucker allowing them to cling to rocks in the swiftest of stream currents. (See example of the tadpole of the closely-related Tuberculated Torrent Frog Amolops gerutu).

The Amolops genus ranges throughout Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java and Borneo. 

As of 2018, Amolops gerutu is only known from the southern state of Johor, Peninsular Malaysia including localities such as Endau-Rompin and Sungai Bantang where lowland streams are sourced from montane forests. The species was once considered to be part of the Amolops larutensis species complex (Onn et al, 2018).

Figs 1 to 4 : Examples from Sungai Bantang, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia: all these specimens were found by day. Note the absence of obvious patterning on the rear part of the thigh in Figure 1: this is diagnostic for the species.

Fig 5 : Fast-flowing rocky stream habitat at Sungai Bantang, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 6 : Example from lowland stream at Endau-Rompin National Park, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

References :

Chan, K. O., Abraham, R. K., Grismer, J. L., & Grismer, L. (2018). Elevational size variation and two new species of torrent frogs from Peninsular Malaysia (Anura: Ranidae: Amolops Cope). Zootaxa, 4434(2), 250-264.