This species is widespread in central, southern and south-western China, including Taiwan, Province of China, Hainan, Hong Kong and Macau. It has also recently been recorded from northern West Siang District, in Arunachal Pradesh, and from Watiyem, in Nagaland, in India. It has recently become established in Guam (Christy et al. 2007). It occurs from sea level up to 1,600 m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits various kinds of habitats including cultivated fields, grasslands, shrublands, plantations, forests, ponds, and marshes and near streams. It breeds in still water. Foam nests have been found to contain 300–400 eggs each and are often found in shallow, still water, typically attached to emergent vegetation (Christy et al. 2007).
It is widely distributed and breeds well in artificial, still waterbodies.
Habitat destruction such as urban development and habitat degradation such as water pollution might potentially threaten some populations of this species, but overall there are no major threats.
Many protected areas in China support this species. In India it is known from Dihang-Dibang Biosphere Reserve.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Matsui et al. (1986) demonstrated that Polypedates megacephalus is distinct from P. leucomystax. P. megacephalus is a member of the poorly known P. leucomystax complex of cryptic species. Until a comprehensive taxonomic revision of this complex is undertaken, we follow Orlov et al. (2001) in restricting P. megacephalus to populations north of the Red River of Viet Nam, and we consider populations south of the Red River, including western Yunnan (China) but excluding northeastern India, to belong to P. leucomystax. Recent records of P. megacephalus from northeastern India (Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh States) might represent a different member of the P. leucomystax complex, but are retained here until further taxonomic studies are undertaken.
Michael Wai Neng Lau, Chou Wenhao, Yang Datong & Annemarie Ohler 2009. Polypedates megacephalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T58957A11862153. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T58957A11862153.en