Frogs and toads
WHEN I WAS A KID, my family lived in a low-lying area on the outskirts of a small town in
the state of Kedah (in northern Peninsular Malaysia). During the monsoon season, the
area would often be flooded whenever it rained heavily. Even when it rained lightly, puddles
of water formed on the ground, and in the night frogs and toads would call loudly.
Sometimes their "chorus" could be quite deafening, especially loud during rainy nights.
One frog species, the Banded Bullfrog, Kaloula pulchra (family Microhylidae), was plentiful
then. There seems to be fewer of them around now. I had difficulty finding them during the
occasional trips back to my hometown. The call of the males of this species has been described
as being like the "bellow of cattle". This frog would puff itself up when disturbed. In dry
weather, the frog would hunker down under logs or rocks and perhaps it could even bury
itself in the ground.
(Note: The frog above is not the Banded Bullfrog but the Common Greenback
Frog or Green Paddy Frog.)
The Copper-cheeked Frog (Rana chalconota) ~
A common forest species, this frog is known by two names ~ the Copper-cheeked Frog because of the
reddish-brown patch behind the eye, and the White-Lipped Frog because of the white line along the edge of its
upper jaw. These two specimens were photographed at different locations, and the one on the left, with
fewer markings on the body, was possibly younger than the other.
The Common Tree Frog (Polypedates leucomystax) ~
This is a common frog which inhabits disturbed forests, plantations and orchards, and
the fringes of forests. Its colour varies from light brown to grey. Longitudinal lines may be
seen on the back of some specimens, and hence the species is also known as the Four-lined Tree Frog.
The Common Greenback (Rana erythraea) ~
This species is commonly found in forest clearings and agricultural land, especially rice fields,
and is also called the Green Paddy Frog, although some specimens may
be brown in colour as in this specimen. The white stripes along the sides and
back are characterisitic of this species.
A giant toad or frog? ~ This is a large amphibian that I photographed living among the rocks
of a waterfall near Kuala Lumpur. I estimated its length to be about 13 to 15cm from snout to vent.
Despite being full or warts, this could be the Torrential Frog, but I need to confirm its ID.
The Asian Toad (Bufo melanostictus)
This toad was once commonly used by students for dissection. In their
book "Malayan Animal Life"
M.W.F. Tweedie and J.L. Harrison wrote, "Like the European frog
it has become a martyr to science and provides the introduction to anatomy for medical and zoological
students in Asian countries."