Rhacophorus prasinatus is a medium-sized frog (but large relative to other green Rhacophorus), with males measuring 48 to 63 mm and females from 65 to 77 mm in SVL. Head as long or longer than wide. Snout obtusely pointed with a distinct canthus rostralis and slightly concave loreal region. Interorbital space 1.2 x the width of the upper eyelid. Tympanum is distinct and circular, about 2/3 the diameter of the eye. Prominent supratympanic fold. Vomerine teeth in two series, nearly transverse, contacting the upper interior edge of the choanae. Tongue has two proximal processes that touch at the base and give the tongue an arrowhead shape. Forelimbs are short and robust. Fingers are flattened with large flattened discs, and webbed, but with webs not extending to the digit tips. Hindlimbs are medium-length with flattened toes ending in smaller discs and almost fully webbed. Tibiotarsal articulation reaches the middle of the orbit. The inner metatarsal tubercle is present and well-developed; the outer metatarsal tubercle is lacking. The skin is rough and granulated. Males have much more pointed snouts, single vocal sacs with two vocal slits, and kidney-bean shaped inner metatarsal tubercles. Males also have nuptial pads, relatively small and somewhat granular, on the first two fingers. Females have granular venters with irregular black dots (Mou et al. 1983).
Coloration: Bright leaf green dorsum with a distinct yellowish white lateral stripe separating the green dorsal coloration from the whitish ventrum (Mou et al. 1983). Dorsum may have clear brownish areas or a few small bluish dots (Mou et al. 1983). Ventrum may have some dark spots, more pronounced in females, and darkens to dirty white as it approaches the lateral stripe (Mou et al. 1983). Upper proximal forelimb (shoulder to elbow) is yellowish (Mou et al. 1983). Supratympanic fold is yellowish-brown (Mou et al. 1983). A golden brown stripe extends from the midpoint of the canthal ridge to the edge of the eyelid and the supratympanic folds (Chou et al. 2007). Another yellowish stripe is present on the dorsum between the coccyx and anus (Mou et al. 1983). Anterior thighs have black dots (Mou et al. 1983). Iris golden brown (Mou et al. 1983).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Taiwan
Rhacophorus prasinatus is endemic to northern Taiwan (Taipei, Ilan and Taoyuan). Habitats include forests, orchards, tea plantations, bamboo forests, and shrublands in hilly areas at elevations of 400-600 meters asl (Lue and Chou 2004).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Mating calls have been recorded from late March to October (Mou et al. 1983). Males call from bushes between about 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. (Mou et al. 1983). White foamy egg masses have been found attached to the leaves of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis bushes, or fixed just above the water surface in an abandoned bucket (Mou et al. 1983). Also breeds in treeholes, and in cisterns or tanks present in orchards (Lue and Chou 2004). Sympatric species at the type locality (Hou-keng-tzu, Shih-ting area, Taipei Hsien) included Rhacophorus taipeianus, Buergeria robusta, Chirixalus eiffingeri, and Polypedates leucomystax in 1981-1982, when the type specimens for R. prasinatus were collected (Mou et al. 1983).
Trends and Threats
This species appears to be stable and occurs within several protected areas (Lue and Chou 2004), although the type locality was reported in the original publication to be under threat from dam construction (Mou et al. 1983). It is also a protected species within Taiwan (Lue and Chou 2004). It appears to tolerate some habitat change. The main threats are habitat destruction and degradation, particularly when orchards are converted to tea plantations (requiring more pesticides) (Lue and Chou 2004).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Local pesticides, fertilizers, and pollutants
Originally described as Rhacophorus prasinatus by Mou, Risch, and Lue, 1983, it was reassigned to Zhangixalus prasinatus by Jiang et al (2019).
Chou, W.-H., Lau, M. W.-N., and Chan, B. P. L. (2007). ''A new treefrog of the genus Rhacophorus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Hainan Island, China.'' The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 55, 157-165.
Jiang, D., K. Jiang, J. Ren, J. Wu, and J. Li (2019). "Resurrection of the genus Leptomantis, with description of a new genus to the family Rhacophoridae (Amphibia: Anura)." Asian Herpetological Research, 10, 1–12.
Lue, K, and Chou, W. (2004). Rhacophorus prasinatus. In: IUCN 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.1. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 24 June 2009.
Mou, Y.-P., Risch, J.-P., and Lue, K. Y. (1983). ''Rhacophorus prasinatus, a new tree frog from Taiwan, China (Amphibia, Anura, Rhacophoridae).'' Alytes, 2, 154-162.
Originally submitted by: David Chen (first posted 2000-10-20)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Michelle S. Koo (2022-08-18)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Zhangixalus prasinatus: Emerald Treefrog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/4487> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 3, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 3 Dec 2023.
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