AmphibiaWeb - Odorrana schmackeri


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Odorrana schmackeri (Boettger, 1892)
Piebald odorous frog
family: Ranidae
genus: Odorrana
Odorrana schmackeri
© 2004 Samizdat Makein (1 of 5)

AmphibiaChina logo AmphibiaChina 中国两栖类.

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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Diagnosis: Odorrana schmackeri is a smaller species than Rana andersonii and R. margaratae, and is distinguishable from R. margaratae by the presence of a feeble tarsal fold and a larger tympanum, which is about three-fourths the length of the eye. O. schmackeri is distinguishable from R. andersonii by its smaller size and the presence of spines on the throat and thorax, whereas R. andersonii has spines only on the belly. Digital disks are also further developed in O. schmackeri than R. andersonii. The vocal sacs of male O. schmackeri may be discerned externally and the sides of the body are smoother than those of R. andersonii. O. schmackeri is characterized by very obvious brown or black round spots on the head and back, and such spotting is less consistent in R. andersonii (Liu 1950).

Description: O. schmackeri has a snout-vent length of approximately 42 mm. It is characterized by the presence of vomerine teeth, an oblique loreal region that is somewhat concave, the nostril being closer to the snout than the eye, a narrow interorbital region, and a distinct tympanum. The canthus rostralis is obtuse. The first finger is longer than the second and the fingers have expanded discs. The toes are webbed and the species has an indistinct inner metatarsal tubercle, but no outer tubercle. The skin is smooth or slightly corrugated (Boulenger 1920).

Coloration: It has a bluish green-grey dorsum, with black marbling. Its head and back also have brown or black spots. The sides have sharply defined round black spots and the limbs have dark cross-bars. The glandular fold below the tympanum is greenish white. The ventral sides are dirty white and the limbs are orange (Boulenger 1920).

Variation: Males have vocal sacs and spines all over the throat, thorax and belly. The body length in males is in the range of 37-46 mm (Liu 1950).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (1 records).
O. schmackeri can be found in several provinces throughout central China, including in Sichuan, Guizhou, Hubei, Anhui, Henan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Fujian, Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces (Lau et al. 2004), particularly near torrent streams near Mount Huangshan in China (Yu et al. 2006).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
O. schmackeri is an unstudied species of frog, but skin peptides from this species have been shown to have nucleic acid sequences that are encoded by hypervariable antimicrobial peptide-encoding domains (Chen et al. 2006).

Odorrana schmackeri is capable of hearing much lower auditory frequencies than are heard by sympatric torrent species O. livida and Amolops tormotus. It does not respond to higher frequencies than 8.5 kHz, suggesting that the three species have unique responses to selection pressures (Yu et al. 2006).

Trends and Threats
O. schmackeri is threatened by dam construction, development and harvest for consumption. Additionally, it is a bycatch of fisheries (Lau et al. 2004).

Relation to Humans
Frogs are harvested for consumption and are a bycatch of fisheries (Lau et al. 2004)

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

Species Authority: Boettger, 1892.

Phylogenetic Relationships: The genus Odorrana and Eburana were initially both subgenera of Asian cascade frogs, within the genus Rana. After the first investigation of phylogenetics, Eburana was placed within Odorrana. In the light of phylogenetics, subgeneric reassessment of Southeast Asian Rana has been suggested (Matsui et al. 2005). Relationships within Odorrana have been found to coincide well with distribution patterns, indicating the Guizhou Plateau as the center from which the group radiated (Ye and Fei 2005)


Boulenger, G.A. (1920). ''A monograph of the South Asian, Papuan, Melanesian and Australian frogs of the genus Rana.'' Records of the Indian Museum, 20, 1-226.

Chen, T., Li, L., Zhou, M., Rao, P., Walker, B., and Shaw, C. (2006). ''Amphibian skin peptides and their corresponding cDNAs from single lyophilized secretion samples: identification of novel brevinins from three species of Chinese frogs.'' Peptides, 27, 42-48.

Lau, M. W. N., Baorong, G., Huiqing, G., Zhigang,Y., and Kuangyang, L. (2004). Odorrana schmackeri. IUCN (2011). 2011 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 16 February 2012.

Liu, C.C. (1950). Amphibians of Western China. Chicago Natural History Museum, Chicago.

Matsui, M., Shimada, T. Ota, H., and Tanaka-Ueno, T. (2005). ''Multiple invasions of the Ryukyu Achipelago by oriental frogs of the subgenus Odorrana with phylogenetic reassessment of the related subgenera of the genus Rana.'' Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 37(3), 733-742.

Ye, C.Y., and Fei, L. (2005). ''Phylogeny of genus Odorrana (Amphibia:Ranidae) in China.'' Current Zoology (Formerly Acta Zoologica Sinica), 47(5), 528-534.

Yu, Z., Qui, Q., Xu, Z., and Shen, J. (2006). ''Auditory response characteristics of the piebald odorous frog and their implications.'' Comparative Physiology, 192(8), 801-806.

Originally submitted by: Celeste M. Dodge (first posted 2010-06-24)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Mingna (Vicky) Zhuang (2012-02-25)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Odorrana schmackeri: Piebald odorous frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 18, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 18 Jun 2024.

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