AmphibiaWeb - Odorrana chapaensis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Odorrana chapaensis (Bourret, 1937)
Chapa Torrent Frog
family: Ranidae
genus: Odorrana
Odorrana chapaensis
© 2011 Mikhail F. Bagaturov (1 of 4)

AmphibiaChina logo AmphibiaChina 中国两栖类.

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.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (7 records).


Males and females measure up to 84 mm and 100 mm SVL, respectively. The body is moderately slender. This species has a flat head, with an elongated, depressed snout that is longer than the diameter of the eye and projects beyond the lower jaw, and parallel canthi. Behind the eyes, laterally, the top of the head is slightly swollen. This frog has a small, round, and slightly depressed tympanum that is relatively small compared to the eye diameter. The nostrils are lateral and located between the snout and the eyes. There is a distinct and curved temporal fold that reaches to the insertion of the forelimb. It has a pear-shaped tongue that is deeply notched and without papillae. Vomerine teeth are strong and arrayed in two oblique series. Males have gular pouches at the corner of the throat. The skin is smooth on the back, throat and belly except in the rear which is granular. The ventral thigh skin is also granular next to the vent (Yang 1987).

The frog's forelimbs are robust, with slender fingers that vary in length. The third finger is the longest, followed by the fourth, second, then first. The tips of the fingers, particularly the two outer fingers, expand into discs with circummarginal grooves. The three outermost fingers have fringes on the edge, and elongated supernumerary tubercles at the finger base. Subarticular tubercles are enlarged, while the outer palmar tubercle is indistinct. Males have a large gray nuptial pad on the first finger. This frog has moderately slender legs that lead to toes which are fully webbed. The toes also have discs with circummarginal grooves, with the toe discs being smaller than finger discs. Subarticular tubercles as well as the inner metatarsal tubercle are long and narrow. It possesses no outer metatarsal tubercle (Yang 1987).

The basic body color is dark brown. There are small greenish yellow spots and occasional brown spots on the back. Dorsal surfaces of the thigh and tibia have black cross bars, while ventral surfaces are brownish. Females have small white granules on the sides of the head but are otherwise identical to males in coloration (Yang 1987).

The presence of gular pouches distinguishes this species from all the other mainland species of Amolops except A. afghanus , A. chunganensis , and A. nasica . However, males of all three species are much smaller in size, (38-55 mm) in comparison to A. chapaensis (79-84 mm). Only two species (A. formosus and A. hainanensis) approach the size of A. chapaensis and neither have gular pouches (Yang 1987).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China, Viet Nam

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (7 records).

Odorrana chapaensis is native to Lao Cai Province (type locality Sa Pa) in Vietnam, and Hekou and Luchun counties within Yunnan Province in China (Yang 1987; Zhou and Adler 1993). It occurs at elevations between 800 to 1700 m in both Vietnam (Bain and Truong 1984) and China (Yang 1987). It is found along fast-flowing streams in broad-leafed evergreen forest (Yang 1987). This frog can be spotted near waterfalls and cascades, in splash zones, on mossy boulders within the stream and along rocky, wet walls (Bain and Truong 2004). It also inhabits streamside forests up to 3 m from the water's edge (Bain and Truong 2004).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

The species is rare in China, but abundant in Vietnam during breeding season (IUCN 2006).

Trends and Threats

Odorrana chapaensis depends on streams in closed-canopy primary forests. Its habitat at the type locality, Sa Pa (northern Vietnam), is under some threat from deforestation and tourist infrastructure development. However, this species occurs in three protected areas within Vietnam and within two nature reserves (Huangliangshan and Daweishan) in China (IUCN 2006).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

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


This species was described by Yang (1987), as Amolops macrorhynchus. Dubois (1987) recognized it as Amolops chapaensis. Several subsequent phylogenetic analyses have shown, however, that this species is actually nested within the genus Odorrana rather than within the genus Amolops (Ngo et al. 2006; Cai et al. 2007; Che et al., 2007; Stuart 2008).


Bain, R., and Truong, N. (2004). ''Herpetofaunal diversity of Ha Giang province in northeastern Vietnam, with descriptions of two new species.'' American Museum Novitates, (3453), 11-12.

Cai, H.-X., Che, J., Pang, J.-F., Zhou, E.-M. and Zhang, Y.-P. (2007). ''Paraphyly of Chinese Amolops (Anura, Ranidae) and phylogenetic position of the rare Chinese frog, Amolops tormotus.'' Zootaxa, 1531, 49-55.

Che, J., Pang, J., Zhao, H., Wu, G.-F., Zhao, E.-M., and Zhang, Y.-P (2007). ''Phylogeny of Raninae (Anura: Ranidae) inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear sequences.'' Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 43, 1-13.

Dubois, A. (1986). ''Miscellanea taxinomica batrachologica (I).'' Alytes, 5(1/2), 7-95.

IUCN, Conservation International, and Nature Serve. 2006. Global Amphibian Assessment: Amolops chapaensis. Accessed on 11 August 2008.

Ngo, A., Murphy, R.W., Liu, W., Lathrop, A., and Orlov, N.L. (2006). ''The phylogenetic relationships of the Chinese and Vietnamese waterfall frogs of the genus Amolops.'' Amphibia-Reptilia, 27, 81-92.

Stuart, B. L. (2007). ''The phylogenetic problem of Huia.'' Molecular and Phylogenetic Evolution, 46, 49-60.

Yang, D. (1987). ''A new species of Amolops (Anura: Ranidae) from Yunnan Province, China.'' Herpetologica, 43(1), 95-97.

Zhao, E. and Adler, K. (1993). Herpetology of China. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Oxford, Ohio.

Originally submitted by: Keith Lui (first posted 2008-06-30)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2008-08-15)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Odorrana chapaensis: Chapa Torrent Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 15, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 15 Jul 2024.

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