AmphibiaWeb - Pseudophilautus nanus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Pseudophilautus nanus (Günther, 1869)
family: Rhacophoridae
subfamily: Rhacophorinae
genus: Pseudophilautus
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Extinct (EX)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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Adult male, 34.8 mm SVL. Elongated body. Head convex dorsally. Snout angle about 102 degrees (category 6 of Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005), oval in lateral profile, with rounded canthi and concave lores. Interorbital region flat, internarial region concave. Tympanum discernible, oval, obliquely-oriented, with prominent supratympanic fold. Vomerine teeth present (about 10 small teeth on the vomerine ridge). Lingual papilla absent. Supernumberary tubercles present on palm and sole. Calcar absent. No lateral dermal fringe on fingers. Toes webbed medially. Tarsal fold and tubercle are lacking. A few glandular warts are present on the dorsal and lateral regions of the snout, interorbital area, side of the head, and the dorsum. Throat and chest are granular and smooth, while the belly is granular and rough, and the area around the vent is granular. Upper flank has glandular folds. Lower flank is granular. Males have nuptial pads (pale yellow in preservative) on the prepollices and internal vocal slits (Manamendra and Pethiyagoda 2005).

Coloration in alcohol: Yellowish light brown head and body with dark brown patches. Dark interorbital bar. Canthal edges and tympanic region brown. Loreal region pale brown. Upper lip pale yellow. Flank yellowish light brown with dark brown patches. Limbs crossbarred dorsally and laterally. Throat pale yellow with light brown patches; throat margins, chest, belly, underside of thigh, and webbing are pale yellow (Manamendra and Pethiyagoda 2005).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Sri Lanka

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Pseudophilautus nanus was endemic to Sri Lanka and was only known from the general type locality "southern Ceylon". The exact habitat that this species required is not known (Stuart et al. 2008).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species is known only from the type series. It has not been rediscovered despite extensive searches and is presumed extinct. Breeding is believed to have been through direct development, as is the case for other members of the genus Pseudophilautus (Stuart et al. 2008).

Trends and Threats
The exact reason for the decline of this species is not known, but it is believed that habitat loss led to its population decrease and eventual extinction (Stuart et al. 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss

Designated as the lectotype (as Polypedates nanus) by Bossuyt and Dubois (2001), this specimen is the largest of four in the BHNM collection (Manamendra and Pethiyagoda 2005). A drawing of this specimen was shown in Günther's (1869) publication describing the species, according to Manamendra and Pethiyagoda (2005).


Bossuyt, F., and Dubois, A. (2001). ''A review of the frog genus Philautus Gistel, 1848 (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae, Rhacophorinae).'' Zeylanica, 6, 1-112.

Günther, A. (1869). ''First account of species of tailless batrachians added to the collection of the British Museum.'' Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1868, 478-499.

Manamendra-Arachchi, K., and Pethiyagoda, R. (2005). ''The Sri Lankan shrub-frogs of the genus Philautus Gistel, 1848 (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae), with description of 27 new species.'' Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 12, 163-303.

Stuart, S., Hoffmann, M., Chanson, J., Cox, N., Berridge, R., Ramani, P., Young, B. (eds) (2008). Threatened Amphibians of the World. Lynx Edicions, IUCN, and Conservation International, Barcelona, Spain; Gland, Switzerland; and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Originally submitted by: Krystal Gong (first posted 2009-04-13)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2010-09-28)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Pseudophilautus nanus <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 26, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 26 May 2024.

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