Microhyla achatina is a small frog with a narrow head and mouth. Males of this species have a snout-vent length of about 20 mm; the females are slightly larger with a snout-vent length reaching up to 25 mm. The eyes are small. Toes are webbed only at the base. Microhyla achatina has smooth, yellowish brown skin with dark sides and a pair of black stripes on the back. A light vertebral stripe is also present in some individuals (Iskandar, 1998).
The tadpole has a wide tail with black bands, with the tail terminating in a central filament. The spiracle is located in the middle of the ventrum, and is covered with a sheet of skin. Tadpoles of this species also have expanded lower lips (but not laterally expanded) which enable them to feed at the water's surface (Iskandar, 1998).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Indonesia
This species occurs in Indonesia and is endemic to Java. It mainly inhabits primary and secondary forests, although it can also be found in areas inhabited by humans (Iskandar, 1998).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This frog breeds in marshy areas, ponds, and pools of water (Iskandar, 1998). The mating call has a dominant frequency of 3-0-3.2 kHz, with a pulse rate of 14-20 pulses per second, and a duration of 0.5 to 0.9 seconds (Nelson, 1973). Females lay small clutches of about 20 eggs (Iskandar, 1998). Adult M. achatina feed on ants and termites (Iskandar, 1998).
Trends and Threats
This species is threatened by habitat degradation due to deforestation and agriculture.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Microhyla achatina has a tadpole similar to M. heymonsi (found in Sumatra and Malaysia) and may be related most closely to this species. Iskandar (1998) also raises the possibility that another species related to Microhyla achatina exists on Java, as tadpoles have been found in Sancang, Java which resemble but are not identical to those of M. achatina. The Sancang tadpole has a narrower labial cup and tailfins with yellow and black coloration (Iskandar, 1998).
Iskandar, D. T. (1998). The Amphibians of Java and Bali. Research and Development Centre for Biology-LIPI, Bogor, Indonesia.
Nelson, C. E. (1973). ''Mating calls of the Microhylinae: descriptions and phylogenetic and ecological considerations.'' Herpetologica, 29, 163-176.
Originally submitted by: Janel Marcelino (first posted 2006-04-26)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2008-01-03)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Microhyla achatina: Javan Chorus Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/2166> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 24, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 24 Sep 2021.
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