Brief Summary

Comprehensive Description

    Common tree frog
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    "Golden tree frog" redirects here. For the frog endemic to Trinidad, see El Tucuche golden tree frog.

    Polypedates leucomystax is a species in the shrub frog family Rhacophoridae. It is known under numerous common names, including common tree frog, four-lined tree frog, golden tree frog[2] or striped tree frog. Many past authors have united it with the common Indian tree frog in P. maculatus (or Rhacophorus maculatus, as was common in older times), but today they are generally considered distinct species. In its native range, it is also called "white-lipped tree frog", but this name is otherwise applied to a species of true tree frogs (family Hylidae).

    Polypedates leucomystax is not considered a threatened species by the IUCN.[1] It is in fact a species complex containing various cryptic species within it.


    Previously, P. leucomystex was thought to distribute below the Red River of Vietnam and in western Yunnan, while P. megacephalus can be found above the Red River and in Northeast India.[3] However, recent genetic studies revealed that the natural barriers between these species are the Isthmus of Kra and the Tenasserim Range, where P. leucomystax can be found below the isthmus and west of the range.[4]

    The Polypedates leucomystax complex began diverging during the Pliocene, and spread quickly after the Pleistocene due to human activity.[4] The range of P. leucomystax has recently expanded in the Philippines and Indonesia due to the widespread conversion of forests into agricultural-use land. It is also frequently found in trans-island agricultural shipments. Lineages on the Indochina mainland are more diverse.[5]

    In Indonesia, it has been found throughout the archipelago in Borneo, Mentawai, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Bali, Lombok, Natuna Islands, Anambas Islands, Sumbawa, Sumba, Flores, and Timor, and has also been introduced to Papua. In Japan, where it has been introduced, it is found on the islands of Okinawa, Tonaki, Kurima, Miyako, Ie, Iheya, Izena, Sesoko, and Yabuchi.[1]

    4 major haplotype clades of P. leucomystax have been recognized by Brown, et al. (2010),[5] with the clades other than the southern Sunda region clade likely to be cryptic species.

    Divergent varieties that are either P. cf. leucomystax or P. cf. megacephalus have been found in southern China (including Hainan) and Vietnam.[5]


    Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, rivers, intermittent rivers, freshwater lakes, intermittent freshwater lakes, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marshes, freshwater springs, rocky shores, coastal freshwater lagoons, arable land, pastureland, plantations, rural gardens, urban areas, water storage areas, ponds, aquaculture ponds, irrigated land, seasonally flooded agricultural land, and introduced vegetation.


    Mating frogs with foam nest

    Polypedates leucomystax can reach approximately a body length of 3.7–5.0 centimetres (1.5–2.0 in) in males, of 5.7–7.5 millimetres (0.22–0.30 in) in females. [6] Body of these rather small shrub frogs is moderately slender, ovoid, slightly flattened above, with sharply pointed tail. The skin on the upper side is smooth. The body colour is rather variable, with various shades of gray, green, yellow, reddish or dark brown. Usually it is irregularly mottled, often with four stripes along the back. The tip of snout sometimes shows a distinct white spot. Eyes are at the side of the head. The hind feet are webbed. The feet have clear, large cushions as usual with leaf frogs.[7]


    In the damp areas of the propagation, these frogs are present all year round. In drier environments, the period usually restricts to the beginning of the rainy season. The mating takes place at the margins of shallow pools, where the males first arrive and call the females with a distinctive loud, duck-like sound. The female places between 100 and 400 eggs in a protective foam nest that is attached to vegetation or other objects above the water surface. The eggs hatch after 3 to 4 days. The tadpoles develop inside the foam nest and then fall into the water. They develop into adult frogs in about 7 weeks.

    In captivity

    This species of tree frog is commonly kept in captivity in vivariums and terrariums by both hobbyists and professional.[2]


    1. ^ a b c Diesmos, A., et al. (2004). Polypedates leucomystax. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. www.iucnredlist.org Archived June 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.. Downloaded on 01 December 2013.
    2. ^ a b "Golden Tree Frog (Polypedates leucomystax)". amphibiancare. October 31, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2016..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    3. ^ "Polypedates megacephalus (Hong Kong Whipping Frog, Spot-legged Treefrog, White-lipped Treefrog)". www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
    4. ^ a b KURAISHI, N., MATSUI, M., HAMIDY, A., BELABUT, D. M., AHMAD, N., PANHA, S., SUDIN, A., YONG, H. S., JIANG, J.-P., OTA, H., THONG, H. T. and NISHIKAWA, K. (2013), Phylogenetic and taxonomic relationships of the Polypedates leucomystax complex (Amphibia). Zoologica Scripta, 42: 54–70. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2012.00562.x
    5. ^ a b c Brown, R. M., C W. Linkem, C. D. Siler, J. Sukumaran J. A. Esselstyn, A. C. Diesmos, D. T. Iskandar, D. Bickford, B. J. Evans, J. A. McGuire, L. Grismer, J. Supriatna, and N. Andayani. 2010. Phylogeography and historical demography of Polypedates leucomystax in the islands of Indonesia and the Philippines: evidence for recent human-mediated range expansion? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57:598–619
    6. ^ Ecology Asia
    7. ^ Amphibian and Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia - Polypedates leucomystax

    provided by AmphibiaWeb text

    Polypedates leucomystax is a small to medium-sized common tree frog, with males averaging 50 mm in total length and females averaging 80 mm in total length (McKay 2006). P. leucomystax ground color is a variable shade of brown, ranging from pale brown to yellow-brown, reddish brown, gray-brown, or dark brown (McKay 2006). Throughout most of its range, patterning is prevalent, and the pattern varies from spotted to longitudinally striped. Plain forms are also seen but not as commonly. (Frith 1977; McKay 2006). However, on Bali, the most common form is plain, without pattern. (McKay 2006).


    Distribution and Habitat
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    Polypedates leucomystax is widely distributed throughout South and Southeast Asia. It thrives in both wetlands and forests. In urban settings, P. leucomystax can be found in garden ponds, on buildings, and on roads (Frith, 1977)[3663].


    Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
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    Breeding is year-round in some parts of the range such as north Borneo and the wetter parts of Bali (McKay 2006). However, in drier areas such as north Bali, breeding is restricted to the start of the wet season (McKay 2006). Males congregate at still or slow-moving water, or puddles, and call from the edges or elevated positions on vegetation (McKay 2006). The call has been described as a "widely spaced nasal quack, and occasionally a low throaty chuckle" (McKay 2006). Polypedates leucomystax females deposit from 100-400 eggs in oval-shaped foam nests (Yorke 1983). The foam nests measure about 10 cm in length and are constructed on vegetation above ephemeral pools (Yorke 1983), or attached to a surface by the water's edge (McKay 2006). Hatching takes place after three to four days, occurring at the external gill stage (Yorke 1983; McKay 2006). At this point the larvae wriggle free of the foam nest and drop into the water below (McKay 2006). The larvae are opportunistic predators, attacking and consuming nearly anything they can, including both live and dead conspecific tadpoles and decaying vegetation (Yorke 1983). From hatching to metamorphosis takes approximately seven weeks (Yorke 1983).


    Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
    provided by AmphibiaWeb text

    It is currently not threatened, due to its tolerance for various environmental conditions, and is abundant throughout its range (Frith, 1977)[3663].