AmphibiaWeb - Pseudophilautus zal


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Pseudophilautus zal (Manamendra-Arachchi & Pethiyagoda, 2005)
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.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Extinct (EX)
National Status Extinct
Regional Status None


Berkeley mapper logo

View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Males 24.2-25.4 mm SVL. Stout body. Head dorsally convex, with convex interorbital area. Snout rounded in profile and angled at 99 degrees (category 5 of Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005), with sharp canthal edges, flat loreal region, and a flat internarial space. Tympanum oval, oblique, and vertical, with an indistinct outer rim and a prominent supratympanic fold. Pineal ocellus lacking. Vomerine teeth not present. Lingual papilla absent. Fingers have lateral dermal fringe. Toes webbed medially. Tarsal fold and calcar are absent. Head and dorsum shagreened with glandular warts. Median dermal ridge running from snout to vent. Flanks granular. Dorsal surfaces of forelimb, thigh, shank, and foot bear glandular warts. Throat, chest, belly, and underside of thigh are granular. Males have internal vocal slits and nuptial pad on dorsal and inner sides of prepollex and finger I (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005).

Color in preservative: Light brown body with dark brown blotches and about 5 white spots on dorsum. Loreal region pale brown with small dark brown spots. Tympanic area dark brown with white patch. Upper lip pale brown. Upper flank dark brown, lower flank yellow. Limbs have 3-4 crossbars on a pale brown background; posterior thigh is dark brown. Ventrum is pale yellow (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Sri Lanka

Berkeley mapper logo

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

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species has been found only at the type locality and is known only from the holotype and two paratypes, described by Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda (2005). It has not been collected or recorded since before 1947; despite extensive searches Pseudophilautus zal has not been rediscovered 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 habitat loss is thought to have been the major factor in this species' decline (Stuart et al. 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss

The species epithet zal is a Polish word meaning deep, unbearable sadness and regret, "like a howling inside you, so unbearable that it breaks your heart" (from the pianist Artur Rubinstein, cited in Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005). Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda (2005) comment that "zal expresses completely our sadness and frustration at the loss of this and so many other endemic amphibians in Sri Lanka."


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 zal <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 26, 2024.

Feedback or comments about this page.


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

AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.