This species is currently known from west of the Mekong River in western and central Thailand and south-western to central Cambodia (Taylor 1962, Wassersug et al. 1981, Stuart and Emmett 2006, Poyarkov et al. 2015). These may not represent the actual limits of the species' range as similar habitat to that in the species' known localities extends into a small section of adjacent Peninsular Myanmar. Further surveys there may uncover its presence, and they have been included in the range map associated with this assessment. The species' estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) is 361,602 km2, which represents four threat-defined locations. There is no information on this species' elevation range except that one observation occurred at 180 m asl (Stuart and Emmett 2006), however, its closely related congener Theloderma vietmanense, with which it had previously been confused, occurs from sea level to 1,500 m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is associated with lowland and seasonally flooded to montane evergreen forest and has mostly been observed on the trunks of trees (Taylor 1962, Wassersug et al. 1981, Inger et al. 1999, Stuart and Emmett 2006, Stuart et al. 2006, Luu et al. 2014). Eggs and larvae of the species have been observed during September in Thailand (Wasserburg 1981). This species is a phytotelm breeder; it attaches its eggs to the trunk of a tree directly above a water-filled hole, inside of which the larvae develop (Taylor 1962, Wassersug 1981). Habitat throughout much of this species' range is undergoing a continuing decline in quality and extent due to the effects of expanding agriculture (Sodhi et al. 2009), human encroachment, and logging (Ohler et al. 2002, Bradfield and Daltry 2009).
The size of this species' population is not well known, however it has been detected in a number of surveys (e.g. Taylor 1962, Wassersug et al. 1981, Stuart and Emmett 2006, Poyarkov et al. 2015). It is likely that ongoing forest loss associated with expanding agriculture throughout Southeast Asia (Sodhi et al. 2009) is causing some population declines. There are captive populations under this species' name in Europe and North America (T. Ziegler and J. Holden pers. comm. March 2012), however, it is possible that some of these are actually Theloderma vietnamense. Further surveys are needed to determine its population trends in the wild.
Habitat loss and degradation due to rapidly expanding agriculture is an ongoing threat to biodiversity throughout Southeast Asia (Sodhi et al. 2009). High rates of deforestation for logging, and agricultural encroachment on forest are ongoing in much of Thailand and Cambodia (Sodhi et al. 2009). Other causes of habitat loss in Cambodia are the illegal removal of certain tree species for the harvest and refinement of safrole oil, as well as increasing human settlement, both of which are ongoing within protected areas (Ohler et al. 2002, Bradfield and Daltry 2009). This species is very likely threatened to some degree by habitat loss, particularly in cases where trees (and therefore its breeding habitat) are removed. Despite this species having been successfully bred in captivity (T. Ziegler pers. comm. March 2012), it may also be threatened by collection from the wild to meet demand, as is the case for similarly attractive frog species from the region (Rowley et al. 2010).
This species is known from a number of protected areas including the Central Cardamoms Protected Forest and Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia (Stuart and Emmett 2006, Stuart et al. 2006; Thy Neang unpubl. data), and Khao Soi Daow Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand (Wassersug et al. 1981). A large number of other protected areas are included in parts of this species' predicted range; it very likely occurs in many of these also.
In order to ensure the species' long-term survival, the lack of data must be addressed; research should be carried out to determine its true distribution, relative abundance, life history, rates of harvest, and threats.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern as this species is relatively widespread, with an estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) of 361,602 km2.
New concept as a result of splitting out Theloderma vietnamense Poyarkov, Orlov, Moiseeva, Pawangkhanant, Ruangsuwan, Vassilieva, Galoyan, Nguyen, and Gogoleva, 2015.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2016. Theloderma stellatum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T88137061A87748207. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T88137061A87748207.en .Downloaded on 19 November 2018