IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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Butler’s ricefrog, Microhyla butleri, is a small, smooth-skinned frog abundant across southeast Asia.  A terrestrial species, it prefers living in leaf litter and vegetation on the edges of subtropical and tropical lowland moist forests, but can also be found in savannahs, shrub lands and wetlands, and in plantations and cultivated fields.  Its widespread distribution extends from Northeast India through Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and across to Southern China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, at altitudes between 200-1,500 m asl (van Dijk et al. 2009; Frost 2016).

A slender, triangular-bodied frog, Butler’s ricefrog grows to about 21-23 mm (males) and 23–26 mm (females), from its pointed snout to vent.  Also known as the tubercled pygmy frog, its grey/brown dorsal surface is spotted with small dark red tubercles and has an orange or gold pattern of wavy lines.  Its tympanum is not visible.  The toes on this frog are slender, but round out into small toe discs.  The toe discs distinguish M. butleri from the closely related M. ornate and M. pulchra, which have none.  Its legs and sides are pale red and hind limbs striped with dark brown bars and its whitish belly has some brown speckling (Liu 1950; Taylor 1962; Boulenger 1912; Bowles 2009; Grandison 1972).  

Much of the diet of Butler’s ricefrog is ants, and this species is thought to be an ant and or termite specialist, since percentage of ants counted from its total stomach contents were greater than the number of ants in the general surroundings.  Butler’s ricefrog has a small mouth opening.  Sometimes this frog is called the painted narrow-mouthed frog (Hirai and Matsui 2000).

Also known as the painted chorus frog and as the noisy froglet, M. butleri congregate in large choruses to breed in standing water, including shallow temporary pools and puddles, marshes, and paddy fields.  Thy and Golden (2008) describe their call as a fast series of repeated “aik”s.  A video from Singapore of Butler’s ricefrog calling can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxya1iRPtak.  The tadpoles are transparent with red and brown coloring on the tail (Taylor 1962).


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