Sabahphrynus maculatus is a small, thin toad (females reach 52 mm in SVL, males reach 39 mm in SVL) with long, thin hindlimbs. The tympanum is lacking entirely (neither external tympanum nor columella nor eustachian tube are present). The snout projects beyond the lower jaw. The nostril is positioned laterally, near the tip of the snout and directly above the tip of the lower jaw. The upper jaw extends over and down onto the anterior edge of the lower jaw. Neither bony crests nor parotoid glands are present. The head and body are about the same width, with the head width at the front border of the eye about half the width at the rear of the head. The entire dorsal and lateral surfaces are covered with small round to oval conical tubercles (each with a brown tip, but not spinose). Ventrally, the skin is granular. Hands are large, with the first finger much shorter than the second. Distal phalanges are widely expanded and T-shaped, with the tips of the outer fingers expanded into distinct spatulate discs. Subarticular tubercles are present but weakly developed. Toe webbing is moderate, with webbing extending beyond the distal subarticular tubercles of the third and fifth toes. Eight presacral vertebrae are present, along with an arciferal pectoral girdle. The coccyx is not fused to the sacrum (and is therefore moveable). The quadratojugal bone is complete (Matsui et al. 2007; Inger and Yambun 2001).
In life the dorsum (at least of males) is light green. In preservative the specimens are slightly gray to brownish, with many small rounded dark spots. Limbs have complete or broken dark crossbars. Ventral surfaces are cream or pale brown, depending on age and sex. Males and juveniles have cream colored ventral skin color; females have a brown throat and abdomen with indistinct brownish areas. One male specimen was found to have a single enlarged testis (6.6 mm) and to lack vocal slits, mandibular spines, and nuptial pads
(Inger and Yambun 2001). . However, it is not known if this specimen represents a fully mature male; one specimen in the ZMB in Berlin is reported to have a dark nuptial pad
(Inger 1966 cited in Matsui et al. 2007). Females are reported to contain numerous small, unpigmented ova
(Matsui et al. 2007).
The tadpole assumed to belong to this species has a well-defined abdominal sucker immediately posterior to the oral disc. The large oral disc is only slightly narrower than the width of the body. In this species, the larval upper jaw sheath is lacking. Small papillae are present across the entire margin of the upper lip, with the lower lip having marginal papillae only. Eyes are located dorsally, and the snout is broadly rounded in dorsal view. The body widens just in front of the eyes, then tapers slightly thereafter and abruptly tapers at the end. The tail is slender, with the dorsal fin originating at the end of the proximal third of the tail. Head-body length is 10-13 mm and the body is black both dorsally and laterally
(Inger and Yambun 2001; Matsui et al. 2007).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Malaysia
Malaysian region distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Sabah
This species is found in Sabah, Malaysia. It occurs over much of the Crocker Range at moderate elevations. The holotype of this species, originally identified as Ansonia anotis, is an adult female, collected from Sungai Wario (880 m elevation), Sayap Station, Kinabalu Park, Kota Belud District, Sabah, Malaysia (Inger and Yambun 2001).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species lives near small streams, perching 1-2 m above ground on tree trunks within 10 m of the water, as well as on logs and rocks adjacent to streams. One juvenile was collected 2 m above ground in a small hole in the trunk of a large tree, and two other adults were collected in the vicinity of a tree trunk hole (Inger and Yambun 2001; Matsui et al. 2007).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
This species was formerly referred to as Ansonia anotis. Specimens were found to be identical with those of Pedostibes maculatus, which is further synonymous with Nectophryne maculata. These species have now been combined and placed in a new, separate genus, and given the name Sabahphrynus maculatus (Matsui et al. 2007).
Inger, R. F. (1966). ''The systematics and zoogeography of the Amphibia of Borneo.'' Fieldiana Zoology, 52, 1-402.
Inger, R. F., Lian, T. F., and Yambun, P. (2001). ''A new species of toad of the genus Ansonia (Anura: Bufonidae) from Borneo.'' The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 49(1), 35-37.
Matsui, M., Yambun, P., and Sudin, A. (2007). ''Taxonomic relationshiops of Ansonia anotis Inger, Tan, and Yambun, 2001, and Pedostibes maculatus (Mocquard, 1890), with a description of a new genus (Amphibia, Bufonidae).'' Zoological Science, 24, 1159-1166.
Written by Raul E. Diaz (lissamphibia AT gmail.com), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2007-12-21
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2009-05-29)
Feedback or comments about this page.
Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on
amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2016. Berkeley, California:
(Accessed: Feb 13, 2016).
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.