AmphibiaWeb - Pseudophilautus variabilis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Pseudophilautus variabilis (Günther, 1858)
family: Rhacophoridae
subfamily: Rhacophorinae
genus: Pseudophilautus
Species Description: Correcting earlier error (where Philautus variabilis was synonymized with Ghatixalus variabilis; both are valid species)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Extinct (EX)
National Status Extinct
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Known only from lectotype, an adult female 35.7 mm in SVL. Slender body. Head and interorbital area dorsally flat. Snout angled at 110 degrees (category 8 of Manamendra-Pethiyagoda 2005), truncated in profile, with rounded canthi, concave loreal region, and concave internarial area. Tympanum discernible but weakly defined; supratympanic fold present and distinct. Pineal ocellus lacking. Vomerine teeth and lingual papilla absent. Fingers have lateral dermal fringe and rudimentary webbing. Toes are medially webbed; neither tarsal fold nor tubercle are present. Supernumerary tubercles present on both palm and sole. Head and dorsum smooth. Upper and lower flank, and upper arm, are granular. Lower arm smooth dorsally. Thigh, shank, and foot smooth. Throat, chest, belly, ventral surface of thigh, and area around vent are granular (Manamendra and Pethiyagoda 2005).

Color in preservative: Head and dorsum yellow and ashy brown. Loreal and tympanic areas, inguinal region, and flanks yellow and ashy brown. Dorsal surfaces of forelimb, thigh, shank and foot are brown and ash. Lateral forelimb brown and ash. Posterior thigh white with brown splotches. Throat and chest white with light-brown patches. Throat margins white. Belly, ventral surface of thigh, and webbing are pale yellow. Limbs are not crossbarred (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Sri Lanka


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Pseudophilautus variabilis was endemic to Sri Lanka and was only known from the general type locality "Ceylon". The exact habitat requirements for this species are not known (Stuart et al. 2008).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species is only known from the lectotype, described by Günther (1859). It has not been rediscovered despite extensive searches and is presumed extinct.

It is believed to have been a direct developer as is the case for other members of the genus Pseudophilautus (Stuart et al. 2008).

Trends and Threats
The exact reasons for extinction are not known, but the major factor is believed to have been habitat loss (Stuart et al. 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss


Günther, A. (1859). Catalogue of the Batrachia Salientia in the collection of the British Museum. Taylor and Francis, London.

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 2009-03-30)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Michelle S. Koo (2022-08-18)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Pseudophilautus variabilis <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 19, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 19 May 2024.

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