Asian Toadfrogs: Megophryidae
Asian Horned Frog (megophrys Montana): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: The Asian horned frog, which is sometimes called the Asian spadefoot toad, looks as if it has horns over its dark brown eyes. It is a big-bodied frog with a large head that sometimes has a fleshy lump on the end of its snout. Its back is tan to reddish brown and has several ridges that run from the head to the rump. Its hind legs usually show dark banding, but the bands may be faint. Other than a few small lumps on its back and sides, the frog has smooth skin. Males and females look alike, but the females are usually larger. Females can grow to 2.6 to 4.4 inches (6.7 to 11.1 centimeters) long from snout to rump, while the males usually only reach 1.7 to 3.6 inches (4.4 to 9.2 centimeters) in length.
Geographic range: Asian horned frogs are found in parts of Southeast Asia and Indonesia, including Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and tiny Natuna Island northwest of Borneo.
Habitat: Asian horned frogs live in thick, shady, humid, tropical forests, sometimes high in the mountains. They may also live in farm fields.
Diet: This frog looks for food on the forest floor at night, eating larger invertebrates, such as cockroaches and land snails, as well as scorpions that may be as long as the frog itself.
Behavior and reproduction: This frog takes advantage of its leaf-life body to hide from predators. When it crouches down and sits still, as it does whenever a possibly dangerous animal approaches, the frog looks like any other dead leaf lying on the ground. This ability to stay out of sight is important for this species, because it cannot move very fast on land or in the water, and it does not climb. The Asian horned frog is mainly active at night. During the day, it hides under leaves, logs, or rocks. It stays on land most of the year, but moves to small- and medium-sized streams during the mating season. The male's mating call is a loud, echoing honk or clang. The males appear to call more on nights with a full moon. Females lay their eggs in the water along the shore, and the see-through eggs hatch into brown-colored tadpoles that hide among underwater plants until they change into froglets, which probably happens when they are about two months old.
Asian horned frogs and people: People rarely see this well-camouflaged, nighttime frog in the wild.
Conservation status: This species is not considered threatened or endangered. In the areas where it lives, it is quite common. ∎
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