AmphibiaWeb - Megophrys montana


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Megophrys montana Kuhl & Van Hasselt, 1822
Asian Horned Frog; Asian Spadefoot Toad, Javan Horned Frog
Subgenus: Megophrys
family: Megophryidae
subfamily: Megophryinae
genus: Megophrys
Megophrys montana
© 2005 Twan Leenders (1 of 6)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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Megophrys montana males can reach 92 mm in SVL while the larger females can grow to 111 mm. These frogs can be identified by the bizarre, elongated "horn" present on each upper eyelid, and a pointed snout. The pupils are vertical with a dark brown iris. There is a fold of skin separating the head from the body. Dorsally, the skin is generally smooth, with one or two pairs of dorsal ridges extending from behind the head down to the groin, but the dorsum may occasionally bear some black tubercles. Numerous tubercles are present on the flanks. The body shape mimics the appearance of a leaf (Lathrop, 2003; Iskandar, 1998). The color is similar to that of dried leaves, ranging from light brown to reddish brown in color (Lathrop, 2003). Young animals may be brick-red in color, with adults usually reddish to dark brown, and occasionally yellowish brown. The venter is mottled with brown and dark cream. A dark triangular blotch occurs behind the eyes. A pair of black tubercles or spots is generally present dorsally, near the insertion of the arms (Iskandar, 1998).

Megophrys montana tadpoles have a funnel-shaped mouth, with turned-up and laterally expanded lips, allowing feeding at the surface of the water (Iskandar, 1998). The tail is elongated, with a rounded tip (Iskandar, 1998). The larval body and tail are brown (Lathrop, 2003).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Indonesia

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (2 records).
Megophrys montana is endemic to Java. It inhabits leaf litter on the forest floor of dense tropical rainforest, both primary and secondary forest (Iskandar, 1998), and has very rarely also been seen on plantations (Lathrop, 2003). It is found at higher elevations, up to 2200 m (Lathrop, 2003).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

This frog lives in leaf litter and remains immobile unless touched or molested (Iskandar, 1998). Frogs in the genus Megophrys rely on camouflage for defense; they move by short hops, since the combination of large, wide heads and bodies and short, slender legs hampers long jumps (Inger and Stuebing, 2005) and makes them rather clumsy (Wogan, pers. comm.).

During the mating season, Megophrys montana males make a single loud "kang" as their mating call, particularly when there is a full moon (Iskandar, 1998). Breeding behavior has not yet been described but is assumed to be similar to a related species, Megophrys nasuta. In Megophrys nasuta, and presumably also Megophrys montana, adults move from the forest to the edges of streams in order to breed (Inger and Stuebing, 2005). Megophrys montana eggs are colorless (Iskandar, 1998).

Trends and Threats
This species is not threatened. It is common but not abundant (IUCN, 2006).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing

The diploid chromosome number is 26, with five large pairs and eight smaller ones (Iskandar, 1998).


Inger, R. F. and Stuebing, R. B. (2005). A Field Guide to the Frogs of Borneo, 2nd edition. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu.

Iskandar, D. T. (1998). The Amphibians of Java and Bali. Research and Development Centre for Biology-LIPI, Bogor, Indonesia.

Lathrop, A. (2003). ''Asian horned frog, Megophrys montana.'' Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, Volume 6, Amphibians. 2nd edition. M. Hutchins, W. E. Duellman, and N. Schlager, eds., Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Originally submitted by: Peera Chantasirivisal (first posted 2005-11-03)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2008-01-04)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Megophrys montana: Asian Horned Frog; Asian Spadefoot Toad <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 16, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 16 Jul 2024.

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