AmphibiaWeb - Pseudophilautus asankai


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Pseudophilautus asankai (Manamendra-Arachchi & Pethiyagoda, 2005)
Asanka's Shrub Frog
family: Rhacophoridae
subfamily: Rhacophorinae
genus: Pseudophilautus
Species Description: Manamendra-Arachchi K & Pethiyagoda R 2005 The Sri Lankan shrub-frogs of the genus Philautus Gistel, 1848 (Ranidae:Rhacophorinae), with description of 27 new species. Raffles Bull Zool Suppl. 12:163-303.
Pseudophilautus asankai
© 2009 Andreas & Christel Nöllert (1 of 5)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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[This account was originally written for Pseudophilautus hoffmanni, which was synonomized with Pseudophilautus asankai by Ellepola et al. 2021]

This is a moderate-sized frog with snout vent length of 21.2 – 23.4 mm in males. The body is stout and head appears flat in the dorsal view. The snout-angle is a category 6 or 7 (angle of snout 103º – 107º). Laterally, the snout is rounded. The canthal edges are rounded. The loreal region, interorbital space, internasal space are flat. The tympanum is distinct, but the supratympanic fold is indistinct. The following features are absent: pineal ocellus, vomerine ridge, cephalic ridges, lingual papilla and co-ossified skin on skull. The fingers have lateral dermal fringe. The toes are webbed. The tarsal folds and calcar are not present. The snout, interorbital space, side of head, dorsum and upper flank are smooth, while the lower flank is glandular. The dorsal part of the forelimb, thigh, shank and pes are all smooth. The throat, chest and belly are granular, while the underside of the thigh is smooth. Males have inner vocal slits and do not have nuptial pads (Meegaskumbura & Manamendra-Arachchi 2005).

In life, the dorsal side of the species is ash and brown colored. The loreal region is brown. Both the upper and lower lips are ash. In the dorsal view, the limbs appear ashy brown. Dorsally, the digits are bright yellow and ash. The flank is ash colored. The inguinal zone, posterior and anterior thigh are ash with golden-yellow dots scattered. The digits, limbs and body are all golden yellow in the ventral view (Meegaskumbura & Manamendra-Arachchi 2005).

In preservative, the dorsal parts of head and body are greyish-brown with brown dots. The upper flank is brown and lower flank is yellow. The inguinal zone is brown. The loreal region is greyish-brown, while the tympanic region and tympanum are just brown. On the dorsal side, the limbs are greyish-brown. The venter is yellow (Meegaskumbura & Manamendra-Arachchi 2005).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Sri Lanka

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This frog is found in Knuckles Range at elevations between 800 – 1100 m (Meegaskumbura & Manamendra-Arachchi, 2005; Batuwita et al., 2019).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Pseudophilautus asankai inhabits shrubs in gaps within closed-canopy cloud forests, and cardamom plantations within these. Males of both species vocalize while perched on leaves ~0.3 – 1 m above ground. The diurnal resting habitat of these frogs is under a leaf, or on a leaf axil, often in well illuminated habitats (Meegaskumbura & Manamendra-Arachchi 2005).

All frogs of this genus Pseudophilautus are terrestrial direct developers (Bahir et al. 2005).

Previously, it was thought Pseudophilautus hoffmanni and P. asankai were sister species: only a 12S and 16S sequence divergence of 1.01% and a cytochrome-b divergence of 6.04% differentiates these two species (Meegaskumbura & Manamendra-Arachchi 2005). Ellepola et al (2021) used updated sampling and barcoding methodologies and concluded that these were the same species.

The former species epithet of Pseudophilautus hoffmanni is named after the Honorary President of the World Wildlife Fund in France and the Director Emeritus of Wetlands International, Luc Hoffmann. Hoffman is also a benefactor to the MAVA Foundation, which supports the Global Amphibian Assessment (Meegaskumbura & Manamendra-Arachchi 2005).


Bahir, M. M., Meegaskumbura, M., Manamendra-Arachchi, K., Schneider, C. J., and Pethiyagoda, R. (2005). ''Reproduction and terrestrial direct development in Sri Lankan shrub frogs (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae: Philautus).'' The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 12, 339-350. [link]

Batuwita S, Udugampala S, DeSilva M, Diao J and Edirisinghe U. (2019). "A review of amphibian fauna of Sri Lanka: distribution, recent taxonomic changes and conservation." Journal of Animal Diversity, 1(2), 44-82. [link]

Ellepola G, Herath J, Manamendra-Arachchi K, Wijayathilaka N, Senevirathne G, Pethiyagoda R, Meegaskumbura M (2021) Molecular species delimitation of shrub frogs of the genus Pseudophilautus (Anura, Rhacophoridae). PLOS ONE 16(10): e0258594. [link]

Meegaskumbura M. & Manamendra-Arachchi K. (2005). ''Description of eight new species of shrub frogs (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae: Philautus) from Sri Lanka.'' Raffles Bulletin Zoology Supplemental, 12, 305-338. [link]

Originally submitted by: Dayupathi Eranda Nipunika Mandawala (2023-04-08)
Description by: Dayupathi Eranda Nipunika Mandawala (updated 2023-04-08)
Distribution by: Dayupathi Eranda Nipunika Mandawala (updated 2023-04-08)
Life history by: Dayupathi Eranda Nipunika Mandawala (updated 2023-04-08)
Comments by: Dayupathi Eranda Nipunika Mandawala, Michelle S. Koo (updated 2023-04-08)

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

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Pseudophilautus asankai: Asanka's Shrub Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 13, 2024.

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

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