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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
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Western Sunda Spotted Stream Frog

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4



Family : RANIDAE
Species : Pulchrana sundabarat
Size (snout to vent) :
Males to 4.0 cm, females larger

Play call

Pulchrana sundabarat (Western Sunda Spotted Stream Frog) mainly inhabits lowland forest streams, but has also been found in hill forest streams to ~850 metres elevation in southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra.

It is typically encountered perching low down on streamside vegetation, such as leaves and twigs, and smooth boulders.

The species was first described in 2020 (Chan et al); its distribution and ecology was summarised in the same publication. It is closely related to Pulchrana picturata (Spotted Stream Frog) from Borneo, which is somewhat larger.

This relatively small frog can be identified by its bright orange or reddish-orange, discontinuous dorsolateral stripe, which extends to the tip of the snout, and by the orange or yellowish markings on the top and sides of its body. Its background colour is dark brown above and pale to white below.

This species is like a 'typical frog' in shape, with long legs, large eyes, a pointed snout and lack of webbing between the toes on the front feet. Males are somewhat smaller than females.

Its call is quite distinctive, and can be described as a quiet rattle which is sometimes hard to discern above the noise of a fast-flowing stream.

Fig 1 : Typical specimen with bold, orange dorsolateral stripes and abundant orange spots, perching on a streamside boulder.

Figs 2 and 3 : Slender specimen with moderate spotting on the dorsum, and bold banding on the hind legs, perched on a streamside leaf. 

Fig 4 : Weakly patterned example with markedly discontinuous dorsolateral stripe, sparse markings on the dorsum and pale orange markings on the hind legs.

All examples from fast flowing, rocky, lowland streams in Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

References :

Chan, K. O., Abraham, R. K., Grismer, L. L. & Brown, R. M.  (2020)  A systematic review of the Pulchrana picturata complex, with the description of a new species from Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, and southern Thailand. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. 68: 880890.