AmphibiaWeb - Sphaerotheca rolandae


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Sphaerotheca rolandae (Dubois, 1983)
Marbled Sand Frog, Roland's Burrowing Frog
family: Dicroglossidae
subfamily: Dicroglossinae
genus: Sphaerotheca

© 2017 Malaka M. Bopage (1 of 11)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status Lower Risk
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Snout-vent length of males: 32-43 mm, females: 34-50 mm. The body is short and stocky. Upper surface light brown or yellow, marbled with dark brown. Interorbital bar black or dark brown. Some specimens with vertical yellow bars on upper lip; yellowish-white line from behind eye and above tympanum to groin. Limbs with cross-bars. Dorsum with or without a white or yellowish vertebral line or band. Vertebrally yellowish white or light brown. Throat of mature males dark bluish-black or blotched in brown. Two vocal sacs.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: India, Sri Lanka


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Terra typica: Roland Estate (Rubber Plantation), Kurunegala, Sri Lanka India, Sri Lanka, Nepal (Jhapa, Est-Nepal). Found in drier areas up to 200 m above sea level.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Nocturnal, terrestrial. I found S. rolandae only during darkness, calling at the margins of small ponds in Sri Lanka after heavy rains in December and January. During the day, especially during dry season, they burrow in loose soil. The females lay 449 to 1037 eggs, and the development of the tadpoles to complete metamorphosis takes 46 days. This frog feeds on termites.

Relation to Humans
I found S. rolandae in home gardens after heavy rain.

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

Prolonged drought
Local pesticides, fertilizers, and pollutants
Long-distance pesticides, toxins, and pollutants

It was formerly a subspecies of S. breviceps.


Anders, C. (2002). Biologie und Systematik der Amphibien Nepals. Veröffentlichungen aus dem Fuhlrott-Museum, Wuppertal, Germany.

Daniel, J. C. (2002). The Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians. Bombay National History Society, Delhi.

De Silva, A., Molur, S., and Walker, S. (2000). CAMP Report for Amphibians and Reptiles of Sri Lanka. Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Dutta, S.K. and Manamendra-Arachchi, K. (1996). The Amphibian Fauna of Sri Lanka. Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Manamendra-Arachchi, K. (2000). ''Know your frog.'' Sri Lanka Nature, 2(5), 4-16.

Schleich, H. H., and Kästle, W. (2002). Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal. Koeltz Scientific Books, Koenigstein, Germany.

Originally submitted by: Peter Janzen (first posted 2005-05-17)
Edited by: Tom Devitt, Kellie Whittaker (2007-03-20)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2007 Sphaerotheca rolandae: Marbled Sand Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 2, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 2 Mar 2024.

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