Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Vomerine teeth present. Posterior part of the tongue free and forked. Toes webbed. Omosternum and sternum ossified. Pupil of the eye horizontal. Snout moderately sharp. Male with internal guttural vocal sacs. Flank and thigh skin smooth to slightly granular. Dorsal coloration brown, pallid, olive or greyish, with dark spots, which are sometimes absent. Temporal spot large. Lower surface of the hind part of belly and the hind legs with pallid orange-pink. Male differs from female by having paired guttural vocal sacs and nuptial pads on the first finger.
Rana chensinensis belongs to the 'brown frog' species group. In the past (and sometimes at present), these frogs have been considered as the species R. temporaria Linne, 1758. Later studies revealed R. chensinensis to be a species complex, studies of which are in progress. These studies have revealed significant genetic and morphological distinctions between populations from the type territory of Rana chensinensis David, 1875 sensu stricto (Shaanxi Province of China) and the populations of the Rana chensinensis complex from other areas, including those in China (e.g., Beijing area). Consideration of some of these populations as separate species now is more or less commonly accepted (R. ornativentris, R. dybowskii, R. pirica); status of others is the subject of discussion. Here I conventionally use the species name R. chensinensis for those populations of the R. chensinensis complex whose taxonomic status remains unrevised (see map).