Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia


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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Spotted Tree Frog

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4


Species : Nyctixalus pictus
Size (snout to vent) :
Female 3.8 cm,  Male 3.3 cm

Play call

The Spotted Tree Frog, also known as White-spotted Tree Frog, Peter's Tree Frog or  Cinnamon Bush Frog, inhabits primary forest and disturbed secondary forest, from sea level up to at least 700 metres elevation.

It is nocturnal in habits, frequenting low vegetation where it waits for insects and other prey to pass. Its eggs are laid in water-filled tree hollows, or phytothelms, where the young tadpoles are able to develop in relative safety.

The dorsal colour of this frog is unmistakable: it is generally bright orange, but sometimes brown or yellowish-brown, and is flecked with tiny white spots. The ventral surface is pale.

Its eyes are moderate in size, and the iris is pale above and bronze below. Its fingers and toes are long and unwebbed, with the tips expanded into small disks.

Its call comprises a quiet series of 'peeps', which can easily be mistaken as that of an insect.

The species occurs in southern Thailand,  Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Sumatra and the Philippine island of Palawan.

Fig 1 : Example from Johor, Peninsular Malaysia

Fig 2 : Specimen from Singapore's central forests.

Fig 3 : Tadpoles found inside a water-filled hollow, or phytothelm, in a tree in mature secondary forest in Singapore.

Fig 4 : The tadpoles in Figure 3 were found inside this  phytothelm (marked by red arrow), one metre above the forest floor.

References : H3, H10.