AmphibiaWeb - Duttaphrynus himalayanus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Duttaphrynus himalayanus (Günther, 1864)
Himalayan Toad
family: Bufonidae
genus: Duttaphrynus

© 2008 Dr. Gururaja K.V. Acharya (1 of 4)

AmphibiaChina 中国两栖类.

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status Rare Himalayan
Regional Status Rare
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Head deeply concave with only supraorbital ridges; interorbital space broader than the upper eyelid; tympanum very small or indistinct; first finger does not extend beyond second; toes with single subarticular tubercle, no tarsal fold; parotid is as long as the head; body with irregular porous tubercles.

Snout-vent length 130-132 mm.

Color: Uniform brown. Cranial crest and tips of digits dark brown.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
This toad has been recorded from Himalayas at 2000-3500 m of elevation, from Nepal, Bhutan (Bhaduri, 1944). In Pakistan it has been recorded from Azad Kashmir, Hazara Division, and Northwestern Frontier Province.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Life history notes: Bufo himalayanus is a mountain species; primarily nocturnal; however, it is often seen moving about in broad day light among rocks and vegetation feeding on grasshoppers, moths, ants, and other invertebrate animals. It rests during the day under stones or in fissures and holes in the ground.

Breeding activity starts after a downpour, during May-July; males croak in low tone with "curr, curr" repeated several times. Eggs are laid in a double string of jelly in shallow pools along torrents.

The toad hibernates during the winter under stones and in fissures in the ground from September to March. The karyotype number recorded for this species is 22 (Chatterjii and Barik, 1970).

Tadpole: Head flat, body darker, belly bulging, tail weak, low fins; naris slightly nearer to eye than snout; eyes small and sunken; oral disc anteroventral, labial tooth row formula typically bufonid: 2(2)/3, beak serrated, oral papillae lateral; color uniformly black, ventrum lighter.

The tadpoles are found, at a high elevation in the Himalayan range, in small, calm pools along torrents, with algal vegetation.

Total length of tadpole 28-30; tail 19-20 mm.

Trends and Threats
Inhabits side pools of torrents. Mostly terrestrial.

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

Prolonged drought
Local pesticides, fertilizers, and pollutants

Considered a very rare highland species.

This species was highlighted in News of the Week:

January 8, 2018: Biodiversity survey work is a critical step to assess and monitor the state of amphibians in any given area, even protected ones. A herpetology survey conducted by Shrestha and Shah (2017) in Manaslu Conservation Area in western Nepal along the China border illustrates this in a multi-pronged strategy. Their survey included traditional methods such as literature review, visual encounter surveys, patch sampling and opportunistic observations combined with less commonly used ethnographic questionnaire. Of the 21 species documented by the literature, they found 5 species including a new record for the area. Of the 8 species of documented amphibians, only Duttaphrynus himalayanus was encountered in the field; three frog species were noted in interviews as popular food items. The authors note this local ‘delicacy’ could have significant impact on biodiversity and show how taking into account human use is an important part of survey work. (Written by Michelle Koo)

Originally submitted by: M. S. Khan (first posted 2000-08-30)
Life history by: Michelle S. Koo (updated 2021-03-18)

Edited by: Michelle S. Koo, Joyce Gross (2023-08-04)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Duttaphrynus himalayanus: Himalayan Toad <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 13, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Apr 2024.

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