AmphibiaWeb - Nannophrys marmorata


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Nannophrys marmorata Kirtisinghe, 1946
Kirthisinghe's Rock Frog
family: Dicroglossidae
subfamily: Dicroglossinae
genus: Nannophrys
Species Description: Kirtisinghe P. 1946. The genus Nannophrys Günther (Amphibia, Ranidae) with the description of the new species. Ceylon Journal of Science (B), 23(2):105-108.
Nannophrys marmorata
© 2012 Sanoj Wijayasekara (1 of 8)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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Nannophrys marmorata is a large sized frog with snout vent length of 35.4 mm in males and 45.1 mm in females. Habitus robust, almost toad-like. Adults with fine whitish tubercles which are often conical, scattered over upper surfaces of head, shoulder region, forelimbs, femur, tibia and foot. Skin smooth postcranially, with pustules on flanks only. Snout tip smoothly rounded in profile. Nasal capsules (nasal bones) not elevated, no longitudinal internasal groove. Margin of upper lip smooth, not upturned posteriorly near angle of mouth, without a bony prominence. Mandible apparently lacking dentigerous processes. Distances between tips of first and second, and second and third fingers approximately equal. Medial and distal subarticular tubercles on fourth toe separate. Toes free of web or with trace of web between first and second toes. Clavicles moderately well developed, entire; medial borders only slightly separated. Skulls of adults secondarily heavily ossified with exostosis, coossification and casquing (Clarke 1983).

Skin of dorsum with scattered fine white tipped tubercles. Skin smooth postcranially, fairly warty, pustular on sides of body only; ventral surfaces of limbs and body smooth, no sign of pectoral white-tipped tubercles in males in the study sample. Skin coossified on to the skull (sensu Trueb 1973) in four adults examined; less evident in the nasal and frontoparietal region than in N. ceylonensis, which has thinner skin and a more heavily exostosed skull in these areas. Head depressed, broader than long. Snout smoothly rounded in dorsal and lateral views, not truncate. Nostrils nearer to the tip of snout than to the eyes, nasal prominences not elevated. No longitudinal internasal groove; nasal capsules not elevated. Canthus rostralis smooth, rounded and rather indistinct, sloping steeply to a flared upper lip. Interorbital space approximately equal to, or slightly greater than the width of an upper eyelid. A weak transverse occipital fold marks the posterior limit of the interorbital co-ossification. Tympanum distinct, moderately large and sub-oval, inclined anteriorly. Fingers in ascending order of length I : I1 : IV : 111. The distances between the tips of the first and second, and the second and third fingers are approximately equal. Tips of fingers and toes bluntly rounded; condition in juveniles not known. Inner metatarsal tubercle rather indistinct, elongate, not compressed; outer metatarsal tubercle absent. Subarticular tubercles on toes moderately elongate, less elevated in lateral view than in N. ceylonensis; medial and distal subarticular tubercles on fourth toe not in contact, distinctly separated. (The subarticular tubercles are not in contact on the other toes, or are barely in contact on third toe.) Outer metatarsals bound together. Toes free of web, or with a trace of web between first and second toes only, leaving 1+-2 phalanges free on first toe. When the hindlimbs are folded with the tibiae spread laterally and perpendicular to the long axis of the body, the heels are in contact or slightly separated (Clarke 1983).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Sri Lanka

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This frog is found at an elevation range of 200 – 1200m. They are found in the Knuckles Mountain Range and populations have been found in Victoria – Randenigala-Rantambe sanctuary. They have been found in Maussakanda, Gammaduwa, Laggala, Gonewela, Rathna Ella falls, Pitawala pathana, Lakegala, Emmadawa, Kahatagolla, Moragahakanda (Clarke 1983; Fernando et al. 2007; Batuwita et al. 2019; Ukuwela et al. 2020).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
They are found on exposed wet rock surfaces, roadside drains, rock crevices, under boulders and along streams. The surrounding habitat consisted of an ecotone between tropical dry mixed evergreen forests and submontane forests (Ukuwela et al. 2020).

The Nannophrys genus is endemic to Sri Lanka. It is comprised of four species: N. marmorata, N. ceylonensis, N. naeyakai and N. guentheri of which the latter is extinct (Clarke 1983; Fernando et al. 2007; Batuwita et al. 2019; Ukuwela et al. 2020). N. marmorata and N. naeyakai appear similar in their marbling and may be more closely related than to their congeners. Both species are found in similar habitats although N. marmorata range at higher elevations (Fernando et al. 2007).


Batuwita S, Udugampala S, DeSilva M, Diao J and Edirisinghe U. (2019). "A review of amphibian fauna of Sri Lanka: distribution, recent taxonomic changes and conservation." Journal of Animal Diversity, 1(2), 44-82. [link]

Clarke, B. T. (1983). ''A morphological re-examination of the frog genus Nannophrys (Anura: Ranidae) with comments on its biology, distribution and relationships.'' Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 79, 377-398.

Fernando, S, L.j., Wickramasingha, M., Rodirigo, R. (2007). ''A New Species of Endemic Frog Belonging to Genus Nannophrys Günther, 1869 (Anura: Dicroglossinae) from Sri Lanka.'' Zootaxa, 1403, 55-68.

Kirtisinghe P. (1946). "The genus Nannophrys Günther (Amphibia, Ranidae) with the description of the new species." Ceylon Journal of Science (B), 23(2), 105-108.

Ukuwela K.U.B., Bandara I.N., De Zoysa, H.K.S., Rupasinghe, U.A.L.D., and Vandercone, R.P.G. (2020). "New Localities, Distribution and Habitat Modeling of the Critically Endangered Sri Lankan Frog Nannophrys marmorata. ." Russian Journal of Herpetology., 27, 33-40. [link]

Originally submitted by: Dayupathi Eranda Nipunika Mandawala (2021-05-21)
Description by: Dayupathi Eranda Nipunika Mandawala (updated 2021-05-21)
Distribution by: Dayupathi Eranda Nipunika Mandawala (updated 2021-05-21)
Life history by: Dayupathi Eranda Nipunika Mandawala (updated 2021-05-21)
Comments by: Dayupathi Eranda Nipunika Mandawala (updated 2021-05-21)

Edited by: Michelle S. Koo (2021-05-21)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Nannophrys marmorata: Kirthisinghe's Rock Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 13, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Jun 2024.

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