AmphibiaWeb - Rhacophorus reinwardtii


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Rhacophorus reinwardtii (Schlegel, 1840)
Reinwardt's Flying Frog, Black-webbed Treefrog, Green Flying Frog
family: Rhacophoridae
subfamily: Rhacophorinae
genus: Rhacophorus
Rhacophorus reinwardtii
© 2012 Dr. Peter Janzen (1 of 12)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Near Threatened (NT)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
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Rhacophorus reinwardtii is a medium to large-sized tree frog with a broad head (Inger and Stuebing 2005). Females have a snout-vent length of 55.4-79.6 mm, while males range from 41.6-52.5 mm (Ohler and Delorme 2006). The dorsal skin is smooth (Ohler and Delorme 2006) or granular (Inger and Stuebing 2005). There is a wide flap of skin on the outer edge of the forearm (Inger and Stuebing 2005). It has complete webbing of the hands and feet (Ohler and Delorme 2006). The heel has a wide, rounded flap and continues as a narrow fringe along the lower leg (Inger and Stuebing 2005). Sexual dimorphism is present, but is not as distinct in females (Ohler and Delorme 2006).

In the adult frog, coloration of the dorsal surface is a dark green with dark spots, fading into a golden yellow on the flank. The side also has a black band with turquoise blue spots. Webbing is black with golden yellow and bright blue spots. The underside of the frog is pure white (Inger and Stuebing 2005).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Indonesia, Malaysia

Malaysian region distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Sabah, Sarawak

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (1 records).
This species can be found in Java (Schlegel 1837; Iskandar 1998) and Sumatra, Indonesia; Sarawak and Sabah, Borneo (Inger and Stuebing 2005), on Peninsular Malaysia (Grandison 1972; Berry 1975; Dring 1979), and in southern Thailand (Taylor 1962; Chan-ard 2003). It has not been recorded from Brunei or Kalimantan (Indonesia), but it is thought likely to occur there also (Stuart et al. 2008). It occurs mainly at low elevations in primary rainforests (Inger and Stuebing 2005), but has been recorded up to 1,400 m asl (Stuart et al. 2008).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This is a canopy-dwelling species, but descends to the forest floor for breeding in semi-permanent pools (Inger and Stuebing 2005).

It is an explosive breeder. Rhacophorus reinwardtii constructs foam nests above breeding ponds in the forest (Stuart et al. 2008).

The call has been described as sounding like a low crackling chuckle (Inger and Stuebing 2005).

It is speculated that the adults most likely feed on canopy insects (Inger and Stuebing 2005).

The tadpole morphology is typical of its genus; a large, oval and slightly flattened body that has a total length up to 60 mm. The leaf-shaped tail is less than 2x the body length. The tadpole coloration is gray-brown with scattered black spots (Inger and Stuebing 2005).

Trends and Threats
Rhacophorus reinwardtii has a decreasing population trend (Stuart et al 2008). It is considered to be rare, but as a canopy species it is difficult to observe (Stuart et al. 2008). However, it is suggested that it might be locally abundant because of adults that are observed to congregate in the dozens at pools for breeding (Ohler et al. 2006). Reports from Borneo are rare (Inger and Stuebing 2005).

It is dependent on relatively undisturbed mature lowland rainforest (Stuart et al. 2008). Significant loss of rain forest habitat due to logging, agricultural expansion and human settlements is the main threat to Rhacophorus reinwardtii (Ohler and Delorme 2006). This species is also threatened by water pollution, smaller-holder and agro-industry farming (Ohler and Delorme 2006). It apparently does not occur within any adequately protected areas (Stuart et al. 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Habitat fragmentation

The species authority is recorded by Frost in Amphibian Species of the World ( as Schlegel (1840), but Inger and Tan (1996) record it as Schlegel (1837).

Specimens from Viet Nam are now considered to belong to Rhacophorus kio (Ohler et al. 2006).

This species was featured in News of the Week October 9, 2023:

Large-scale phylogenies have become indispensable for many ecological, evolutionary, and conservation studies in amphibians. However, in frogs, the widely used supermatrix trees are based on relatively few genes and are quite different from recent phylogenomic trees (those based on many genes), both in relationships among families and in ages of major clades. A new study (Portik et al. 2023) has generated the largest frog phylogeny to date. This phylogeny includes 5,242 anuran species, a 71% increase in sampling relative to the previously largest supermatrix study. The new supermatrix phylogeny also incorporates hundreds of genes from phylogenomic studies, and more than twice as many fossil calibration points (for divergence dating) as the largest supermatrix study. This new phylogeny more closely resembles recent phylogenomic trees in terms of relationships among families and divergence dates. For example, the ages estimated in the new tree for some of the largest frog clades (Neobatrachia, Hyloidea, and Ranoidea) are within 20 million years of those from these phylogenomic studies, but are 56–91 million years younger than those from the previous largest supermatrix study. This new phylogeny should offer an improved estimate for use in future comparative and systematic studies. The new tree and a set of 100 bootstrapped time-calibrated trees are available here. The authors are grateful to all the researchers who published the sequence data that underlie their study. (Written by John Wiens)


Berry, P. Y. (1975). The Amphibian Fauna of Peninsular Malaysia. Tropical Press, Kuala Lumpur.

Chan-ard, T. (2003). A Photographic Guide to Amphibians in Thailand. Krangkrai Swannapak, Bangkok.

Dring, J. C. M. (1979). ''Amphibians and reptiles from northern Trengganu, Malaysia, with descriptions of two new geckos, Cnemaspis and Cyrtodactylus.'' Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), 34(5), 181-240.

Grandison, A. C. G. (1972). ''The Gunung Benom Expedition 1967: 5. Reptiles and amphibians of Gunong Benom with a description of a new species of Macrocalamus.'' Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History (Zoology), 23, 45-101.

Inger, R. F. (1966). ''The systematics and zoogeography of the Amphibia of Borneo.'' Fieldiana Zoology, 52, 1-402.

Inger, R. F. and Stuebing, R. B. (2005). A Field Guide to the Frogs of Borneo, 2nd edition. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu.

Inger, R. F. and Tan, F. L. (1996). ''Checklist of the frogs of Borneo.'' The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 44(2), 551-574.

Iskandar, D. T. (1998). The Amphibians of Java and Bali. Research and Development Centre for Biology-LIPI, Bogor, Indonesia.

Ohler, A. and Delorme, M. 2006. ''Well known does not mean well studied: morphological and molecular support for existence of sibling species in the Javanese gliding frog Rhacophorus reinwardtii (Amphibia, Anura).'' Comptes Rendus Biologies 329: 86–97.

Schlegel, H. (1840). Abbildungen neuer oder unvollständig bekannter Amphibien, nach der Natur oder dem Leben entworfen, herausgegeben und mit einem erläuternden. Atlas. Arnz & Co., Düsseldorf.

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.

Taylor, E.H. (1962). ''The amphibian fauna of Thailand.'' University of Kansas Scientific Bulletin, 43(8), 265-599.

van Dijk, P., Iskandar, D., Inger, R., Ohler, A. 2008. Rhacophorus reinwardtii. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. . Downloaded on 12 March 2010.

Originally submitted by: Deborah Lee (first posted 2010-02-04)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Michelle S. Koo (2023-10-08)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Rhacophorus reinwardtii: Reinwardt's Flying Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 17, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 17 Jul 2024.

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