Rana narina has a snout to vent length of 48-53 mm in males and 66-74 mm in females. It is a slender, long-nosed, long-legged frog with its nostrils placed very far forward on its snout. The tips of its digits are expanded into small discs. Its hindfeet are strongly webbed.
Its dorsal color varies from plain green to plain brown to brown with green pattering. It has a weak, interrupted dorsolateral fold. There is usually a light streak of color along each dorsolateral fold. Its ventral side is white and without markings.
R. narina is the only frog in its range with its nostrils placed so far forward on an elongated snout. While Rana amamiensis, R. supranarina, and R. utsunomiyaorum are very similar in shape and coloration, none of the three are found within the range of R. narina, and all differ in size from R. narina.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China
Rana narina is found in forests of the northern part of Okinawajima Island, living along mountain brooks at relatively high altitudes.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
R. narina breeds in deep quiet pools in the upper reaches of mountain streams, especially in waterfall basins. Depending on the local weather, breeding takes place between the end of December and the middle of March. Breeding occurs earlier within that spectrum if the winter was cold. Water temperature at the time of breeding is 11-15 degrees Celsius (51.8-59 degrees Fahrenheit). The frogs gather at a breeding site for 3-30 nights. During this time they are preyed upon by the pit viper Trimeresurus okinavensis.
Males of R. narina arrive first and call on the banks of the pool. Males have a pair of vocal sacs and a pair of vocal openings just inside the corners of the mouth. The mating call resembles the chirping of a sparrow.
Spawning occurs explosively, almost entirely in one single night. The eggs are laid underwater at a depth of several tens of centimeters. The eggs are creamy white and may be scattered singly or may adhere together in shapeless masses. A single clutch consists of about 200 eggs. Little is known about the life cycle after hatching. No tadpoles have ever been found in the wild.
The adult frogs disperse away from the breeding site immediately after spawning. Adult frogs return every year to the same breeding site. They feed on insects, centipedes, and other invertebrates.
Trends and Threats
R. narina, because of its fidelity to breeding sites, is threatened by road-building operations which destroy those sites. Some sites are destroyed outright, while others are filled with silt by runoff from construction and roads. Eggs are often smothered by silt when spring rain begins.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Dams changing river flow and/or covering habitat
Subtle changes to necessary specialized habitat
Predators (natural or introduced)
Goris, R.C. and Maeda, N. (2004). Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Japan. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida.
Originally submitted by: Nichole Winters (first posted 2007-04-17)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2007-06-05)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2007 Odorrana narina: Hanasakigaeru <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/5105> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Aug 18, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 18 Aug 2022.
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