AmphibiaWeb - Amolops nyingchiensis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Amolops nyingchiensis Jiang, Wang, Xie, Jiang & Che, 2016
Nyingchi Cascade Frog, Lin Zhi Tuan Wa
family: Ranidae
genus: Amolops
Species Description: Jiang, Wang, Xie, Jiang &Che in Jiang K, Wang K, Jiang X, Zou D_H, Liu W-L, Jiang J-P, Li C, Che J 2016 A new species of the genus Amolops (Amphibia: Ranidae) from southeastern Tibet, China. Zoological Research 37: 31 - 40.

AmphibiaChina 中国两栖类.

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Near Threatened (NT)
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Amolops nyingchiensis is a moderately sized frog, with a snout-vent length range of 52.3 - 58.3 mm in males and 57.6 - 70.7 mm in females. Its head is longer than it is wide, and it has a snout that projects forward with a pointed tip. It has relatively large eyes and a distinct tympanum. The mouth contains weakly developed vomerine teeth and a pear-shaped tongue that is free for about ⅔ of its length. The species lacks vocal sacs. The dorsal and lateral surfaces of the head and body are mostly smooth, aside from a few tubercles, and the body is slightly compressed vertically. The forelimbs are robust, and all the fingertips have discs that have circummarginal grooves. The fingers have a relative length of I < II < IV < III, and feature a well-developed and males have distinct nuptial pad on the first finger. The hind limbs are slender, and the toes have expanded discs as well as webbing. The relative toe lengths are I < II < III < V < IV (Jiang et al. 2016).

Amolops nyingchiensis can be distinguished from other species by their medium body size, which is unusually absent of a white spine on its dorsal surface. The presence of circummarginal grooves, vomerine teeth and a small, tooth-like projection from the mandible are also used to diagnose the species. Males can be characterized by the presence of a nuptial pad on their first finger and the absence of vocal sacs (Jiang et al. 2016).

In life, dorsal surfaces on the head and body are a reddish, flesh ochre color with a random dispersion of small black spots. The dorsal surfaces of the limbs are a rufous color with irregular black banding. The ventral surfaces of limbs are a light orange-yellow. The lateral surfaces of the body are gray with an olive yellow. The throat and chest are a pinkish-white interspersed with a black vermiculate pattern, and the abdomen is off-white with dark gray blotches. The irises are partially golden, but mostly a reddish-brown. In preservative, dorsal surfaces of head and body are dark gray and the lateral surfaces are dusky brown. The throat, chest, abdomen, shanks, feet, and ventral surfaces of forelimbs are white. The iris is uniformly gray (Jiang et al. 2016).

Sexual dimorphism is found in this species, with females have a larger average snout-vent length, males featuring distinct nuptial pads, and males having thick, robust forearms in contrast to the thin, slender forearms seen in females. The two sexes can also differ in color (Jiang et al. 2016).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Amolops nyingchiensis can be found in two localities in Nyingchi Prefecture, specifically in the regions of Gedang and Zhibai, in Tibet, China, and possibly in Arunachal Pradesh in the State in India. They are found in elevation ranges from 1,887 m to 2,941 m (Jiang et al. 2016, IUCN 2020).

These frogs live in small-to-medium sized, fast flowing streams near mixed forest. They’ve been found in two distinct microhabitats, which suggests that they may have a wide ecological niche. Specimens collected from the Gedang locality lived in a fast stream with rocky shores, while those from the Zhibai locality were found in a slower stream with vegetative, non-rocky shores (Jiang et al. 2016).

Trends and Threats
Amolops nyingchiensis is threatened by habitat loss and modifications, particularly the use of dams and management of water, which may serve as threats in the future. While more conservation efforts are needed, this species does occur in the protected Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon National Nature Reserve (IUCN 2020).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Dams changing river flow and/or covering habitat


Bayesian Inference of COI mtDNA found that A. nyingchiensis is sister to A. bellulus. Together, they are sister to the clade composed of A. aniqiaoensis and A. mengyangens. The analysis shows A. nyingchiensis has 5.5% genetic divergence from A. bellulus (Jiang et al. 2016).

The species epithet, “nyingchiensis” is a Latin form of Nyingchi, a prefecture in China that includes the two localities in which the species was discovered (Jiang et al. 2016).

The common English name is “Nyingchi cascade frog,” while the Chinese common name is “Lin Zhi Tuan Wa” (Jiang et al. 2016).


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. (2020). "Amolops nyingchiensis." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T119243342A119243348. Accessed on 10 May 2022.

Jiang, K., Wang, K., Yan, F., Xie, J., Zhou, D.-H., Liu, W.-L., Jiang, J.-P., Li, C., Che, J. (2016). "A new species of the genus Amolops (Amphibia: Ranidae) from southeastern Tibet, China." Zoological Research, 37(1), 31-40. [link]

Originally submitted by: Chez Epps (2022-09-23)
Description by: Chez Epps (updated 2022-09-23)
Distribution by: Chez Epps (updated 2022-09-23)
Trends and threats by: Chez Epps (updated 2022-09-23)
Comments by: Chez Epps (updated 2022-09-23)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-09-23)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Amolops nyingchiensis: Nyingchi Cascade Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 22, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 May 2024.

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