AmphibiaWeb - Odorrana zhaoi


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Odorrana zhaoi Li, Lu & Rao, 2008
family: Ranidae
genus: Odorrana
Species Description: Li PP Lu YY Rao DQ 2008 A new species of cascade frog (Amphibia, Ranidae) from Tibet, China. Acta Zootaxon. Sinica 33: 537-541.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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The SVL of the adult male holotype measures 51.90 mm. Head is longer than wide. Snout is obtusely pointed and prominently protruding, not depressed. Nostrils are lateral, located away from the eye and close to tip of snout. Diameter of the eye is shorter than snout, but wider than interorbital space. Canthus is angular and non-constricted. Lores are concave and slightly slanted. The tympanum is circular, and appears slightly depressed relative to the tympanic rim. Its diameter is just over half that of the eye, and is separated from the eye by a much shorter distance. Vomerine teeth are found on two oblique ridges close to each other. Tongue is cordiform and free to move for about two-fifths of its length. The body is dorsoventrally compressed and slender in overall shape. Dorsolateral folds are present but weakly developed. The skin texture of the dorsum is smooth anteriorly and granular posteriorly; flanks are granular and spicular; and ventral surfaces are finely smooth except for one granular region under the thighs. Fine spinules are visible under the stereomicroscope on the maxilla and corners of the maxilla, loreal region, tympanic rim and center of the tympanum, anterior forearm margins, posterior metatarsa, dorsal tibia, and near the insertion of the arm, as well as in an ovoid cluster on the throat and chest of the male holotype. Limbs are covered with transverse bands of distinct blotches that extend to tips of digits. The relative length of fingers is 2=4<1<3 in increasing order, whereas for toes it is 1<2<3=5<4. Tips of fingers are expanded (1.5-2x phalangeal width) with ventral circummarginal grooves; tips of toes have relatively large triangular discs. Feet are fully webbed. Inner tarsal fold is present. Inner metatarsal tubercle is oval, while the outer metatarsal tubercle is lacking. Males possess gular pouches that appear as skin folds at corners of the jaw as well as vocal sacs on the floor of mouth at the corner. Breeding males also have cream-colored velvety nuptial pads. The male holotype has an ovoid cluster of fine spinules on the throat and chest (Li et al. 2008).

In life, the dorsal surface of Rana zhaoi is olive green, with a single row of seven brown spots down the midline of the back from the interorbital space to the vent. A small white spot is located at the center of the head. A golden upper lip stripe extends from the tip of the snout along the upper lip to the arm insertion. Dark brown bands are present on lateral sides of the head and trunk, narrowing as they approach the vent and eventually forming a narrow, dark border. Flanks are also dark brown but with yellow marbling. The tympanum is pale gray, but the center and the rim are dark brown. The limbs are ivory on the ventral side and pale brown with dark brown crossbar patterns interspersed with brown and golden or white spots on the dorsal side (Li et al. 2008).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China

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Rana zhaoi is endemic to Yarang, Médog County, Tibet. It is typically found in small rocky streams (on rocks within the stream) and under small waterfalls. Specimens were collected from a small stream in an evergreen forest at about 767 m asl (Li et al. 2008).

This species was originally put into Rana margaretae (Zhao et al. 2005) but Li et al. (2008) observed that R. zhaoi differed by having external subgular pouches as well as having all fingertips expanded (vs. no gular pouches and only the outer three fingers bearing expanded discs in R. margaretae). R. zhaoi resembles R. graminea,, R. chloronota, and R. livida in its green coloration and ventral circummarginal grooves on the finger discs, but none of these species bear a nuptial spinal cluster on the throat and chest of males. In addition, R. zhaoi has a concave loreal region (vs. vertical in R. graminea), no lateral fringes (vs. weak lateral fringes on fingers I and V in R. chloronota), smaller discs (vs. greatly enlarged, more than 2x phalangeal width, in R. chloronota and R. livida), obtusely pointed head (vs. rounded in R. livida), transverse bars on limbs (vs. none in R. livida), smooth dorsum (vs. pustules dorsal to the cloaca in R. livida), and larger hands and smaller tympana (vs. smaller hands and larger tympana in R. graminea (Li et al. 2008).


Li, P.-P., Lu, Y.-Y., and Rao, D.-Q. (2008). ''A new species of cascade frog (Amphibia, Ranidae) from Tibet, China.'' Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica, 33(3), 537-541.

Zhao, W.-G., Rao, D.-Q., Lu, S.-Q., and Dong, B.-J. (2005). ''Herpetological surveys of Xizang Autonomous Region, 2. Médog.'' Sichuan Journal of Zoology, 24, 254-259.

Originally submitted by: Christine Lu (first posted 2009-09-17)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2009-10-07)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Odorrana zhaoi <> 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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