AmphibiaWeb - Amolops wenshanensis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Amolops wenshanensis Yuan, Jin, Li, Stuart & Wu, 2018
Wenshan Cascade Frog, Chinese: 文山湍蛙
family: Ranidae
genus: Amolops
Species Description: Yuan Z, Jin J, Li J, Stuart BL, and Wu J. 2018. A new species of cascade frog (Amphibia: Ranidae) in the Amolops monticola group from China. Zootaxa: 4415: 498-512.
Amolops wenshanensis
© 2022 Thanh Luan Nguyen (1 of 2)

AmphibiaChina logo AmphibiaChina 中国两栖类.

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Data Deficient (DD)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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Amolops wenshanensis is a medium-sized frog with a male snout-vent length of 35.7 - 39.9 mm based on seven males and a female snout-vent length of 43.7 - 45.6 mm from two females. The body is slender and the head is longer than it is wide. In the dorsal view, the snout is obtuse and round, projecting past the lower jaw. In profile view, the snout is not depressed. The nostrils are dorsolateral and are located closer to the snout tip than to the eye (Yuan et al. 2018). The canthus rostralis is distinct (Pham et al. 2018). The internarial distance (4.0 - 6.0 mm in males, 4.8 - 5.1 mm for females) is greater than the interorbital distance (3.4 - 4.3 mm in males, 4.3 - 4.7 for females) (Yuan et al. 2018). The loreal region is concave and sloping (Pham et al. 2018). The eyes have a diameter of 73.3% of the snout length and the upper eyelids have a width that is 62.8% of the interorbital distance (Yuan et al. 2018). The pupils are horizontally ovular. The supratympanic fold is absent. The tympanum is round and distinct, having a diameter of 38 - 40.9% of the eye diameter (Yuan et al. 2018, Pham et al. 2019). The forearm is robust and there is one oval-shaped thenar tubercle and males have a glandular nuptial pad on the medial side of the base of finger I. The relative finger lengths are I < II < IV < III, with the fingertips being large, round, and having circummarginal grooves. The tip of finger III has a diameter equal to the tympanum. There is no webbing on the fingers. Fingers I and II have one round subarticular tubercle each, while Fingers III and IV have two subarticular tubercles (Yuan et al. 2018, Pham et al. 2019). The hind limbs are long, with the tibia (26.3 - 29.3 mm in males and 36.3 - 37.8 mm in females) being longer than the thigh (21.0 - 22.8 mm in males and 27.7 - 29.6 mm in females). Male foot length is 14.9 - 18.4 mm and female foot length is 23.0 - 23.7 mm. The inner metatarsal tubercle is prominent. There is no outer metatarsal tubercle nor supernumerary tubercles. The toes are long and thin, with relative lengths being I < II < III < V < IV. The relative toe disk widths are I < V < IV < II < III, with the discs being round and having circummarginal grooves like the fingers. There are lateral fringes on all toes. The subarticular tubercles are distinct and horizontally ovoid. The dorsolateral fold is distinct, running from the posterior of the tympanum to the inguinal region. The skin on the dorsum and ventrum is smooth, except for the posterior surface around the vent where it is granular (Yuan et al. 2018).

Amolops wenshanensis differs from other species of the A. monticola group such as A. cucae and A. compotrix due to the smaller body size; smooth skin lacking any dorsal glands, tubercles, warts, or spinules; green dorsum; immaculate and opaque ventrum; and indistinct bands on the dorsal surfaces of the limbs in A. wenshanensis. Amolops wenshanensis also has distinct dorsolateral folds, a distinct tympanum, no pineal body, and expanded fingertips with circummarginal grooves, unlike A. monticola (Yuan et al. 2018).

The dorsum of A. wenshanensis is light green in life. From the lateral side of the snout tip to the axilla is dark brown to black, with a yellowish white stripe on the upper lip (Yuan et al. 2018, Pham et al. 2019). A narrow, white stripe in the loreal region also runs from the snout tip to the anterior eye margin. The anterior of the flanks is dark brown, fading into yellow-brown posteriorly. A thin, gold stripe extends along the canthus from the snout tip through the upper eyelid margin and along the upper side of the dorsolateral fold. The upper quarter of the iris is bronze, and the rest is gold with black reticulations (Yuan et al. 2018). The forelimbs and hind limbs are light green to olive with narrow, incomplete gray-brown bands and black spots (Yuan et al. 2018, Pham et al. 2019). The ventrum is immaculate yellow (Pham et al. 2019). The fingers and fingertips are gray, while the toe tips are dark brown. The nuptial pads are white. The inner metatarsal tubercle is dark brown and the foot webbing is yellow-gray with dark spots (Yuan et al. 2018).

In preservative, the dorsum appears light gray, and the posterior flank area and limb surface are a white-gray color with darker marbling. The ventral surfaces are a cream color, and the ventral surface of the limbs also has dark speckling. The foot webbing is gray with dark spots (Yuan et al. 2018).

One paratype has been observed to have several irregular dark spots on the ventral surfaces of the hind limbs (Yuan et al. 2018).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China, Viet Nam

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The type locality is the Wenshan National Nature Reserve in Yunnan Province, China. Specimens have also been collected from Diding Village in Guangxi Province, China, as well as Lao Cai, Son La, and Quang Ninh Provinces, Vietnam. These regions form the border between China and Vietnam, and consist of evergreen forest habitats with high species diversity. Lao Cai and Son La Provinces are mountainous regions in Vietnam that may exceed 1200 m in elevation, while the mountains in Yunnan, China, reach over 5000 m. Guangxi Province, China, and Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam, are both near sea level (Yuan et al. 2018, Pham et al. 2019).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Amolops wenshanensis can be found in low vegetation on the ground, like grasses along riverbanks and streams (Yuan et al. 2018).

Males have been observed calling from small branches 0.5 - 1.0 m above ground along streams. The call is similar to a bird song, like that of Tarsiger indicus, having several, long notes with a high frequency (Yuan et al. 2018).

Xenophrys major, Ophryophryne microstoma, Leptolalax sp., Limnonectes bannaensis, Odorrana graminea, and Sylvirana sp. were also observed at the type locality in Yunnan Province, China (Yuan et al. 2018).

Tadpoles in the Amolops genus have a distinct, sharp abdominal sucker. However, the tadpole of A. wenshanensis is unknown (Yuan et al 2018).

Trends and Threats
Discoloration in specimens of A. wenshanensis has been observed and is thought to be caused by an unknown fungal infection. This disease may be impacting the A. wenshanensis population. Additionally, disturbances to streams or vegetation by the cattle occupying some areas of the habitat may affect the A. wenshanensis population, but such disturbances have not been observed (IUCN 2020).

Relation to Humans
This species is not used by humans and is unlikely to be consumed due to its unpalatable odor (IUCN 2020).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline



Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian analyses of the ND2 gene and tRNA showed that A. wenshanensis is sister to the clade composed of A. cucae and A. compotrix (Yuan et al. 2018).

The species epithet comes from the type locality, the Wenshan National Nature Reserve, located in Xichou county, Wenshan city, Yunnan Province, China (Yuan et al. 2018).


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (2020). "Amalops wenshanensis." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T50928774A50928633. Accessed on 6 February 2023.

Pham, C.T., Le, M.D., Hoang, C.V., Pham, A.V., Ziegler, T., Nguyen, T.Q. (2019). "First records of Bufo luchunnicus (Yang et Rao, 2008) and Amolops wenshanensis Yuan, Jin, Stuart et Wu, 2018 (Anura: Bufonidae, Ranidae) from Vietnam." Russian Journal of Herpetology, 27(2), 81-86. [link]

Yuan, Z., Jin, J., Li, J., Stuart, B.L., Wu, J. (2018). "A new species of cascade frog (Amphibia: Ranidae) in the Amolops monticola group from China Authors." Zootaxa, 4415(3). [link]

Originally submitted by: Madeline Ahn (2023-02-15)
Description by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-02-15)
Distribution by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-02-15)
Life history by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-02-15)
Larva by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-02-15)
Trends and threats by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-02-15)
Relation to humans by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-02-15)
Comments by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-02-15)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2023-02-15)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Amolops wenshanensis: Wenshan Cascade Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 17, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 17 Jul 2024.

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