AmphibiaWeb - Pseudophilautus frankenbergi


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Pseudophilautus frankenbergi (Meegaskumbura & Manamendra-Arachchi, 2005)
Frankenberg's Shrub Frog
family: Rhacophoridae
subfamily: Rhacophorinae
genus: Pseudophilautus
Species Description: Meegaskumbura M and Manamendra-Arachchi K. 2005. Description of eight new species of shrub frogs (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae: Philautus) from Sri Lanka. Raffles Bull Zool Suppl 12:305-338.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Pseudophilautus frankenbergi is a moderate sized frog with snout vent length of 26.7 – 29.3 mm in males. Body stout. Head dorsally flat. Snout-angle category 5–7 (angle of snout 97º–106º), rounded in lateral aspect. Canthal edges sharp. Loreal region concave. Interorbital and internasal spaces flat. Tympanum distinct, oval, vertically orientated. Vomerine ridge absent. Pineal ocellus, lingual papilla, cephalic ridges, tarsal tubercle, tarsal fold and co-ossified skin on skull absent. Supratympanic fold distinct. Lateral dermal fringe present on fingers. Rudimentary webbing present on fingers. Supernumerary tubercles present or absent on palm and absent on pes. Toes webbed. Snout, interorbital space, dorsum and upper flank shagreened; side of head with glandular warts; lower flank granular. Dorsal part of forelimb and shank with glandular warts; dorsal parts of thigh and pes smooth. Horny spinules scattered on dorsum. Throat, chest, belly and underside of thigh granular. Inner vocal slits present in males, nuptial pad absent but subdermal nuptial glands present on inner surface of prepollex (Meegaskumbura and Manamendra-Arachchi, 2005).

Colour in life: Dorsum uniform ashy brown. Canthal edges, loreal and temporal regions dark brown. Lower half of tympanum light brown. Inguinal zone marbled in black and white. Flank ashy brown with white patches. Discs dorsally ashy yellow. Limbs dorsally pale brown with dark-brown crossbars. Some specimens have dark-brown dorsal markings, pale reddish-brown dots on dorsum, a dark-brown interorbital bar, and rarely, white patches on dorsum (Meegaskumbura and Manamendra-Arachchi, 2005).

Colour in alcohol: Dorsally ashy brown. Both upper and lower flanks white with dark brown patches. Inguinal zone with white and dark-brown patches. Loreal region, tympanic region and tympanum ashy brown. Upper lip ashy brown. Limbs dorsally ashy brown with indistinct crossbars. Thigh dorsally ashy brown with white patches and indistinct crossbars. Venter and webbing pale yellow with brown pigments (Meegaskumbura and Manamendra-Arachchi, 2005).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Sri Lanka


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Pseudophilautus frankenbergi is restricted to the highest peaks of the Central Hills between 1700 – 2300 m elevations (Meegaskumbura and Manamendra-Arachchi 2005; Batuwita et al. 2019).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Pseudophilautus frankenbergi occupy microhabitats in the sub-canopy of closed-canopy montane forests and cardamom plantations within these. Males call from about 1–3 m above ground, while perched on branches or large leaves (Meegaskumbura and Manamendra-Arachchi 2005).

All frogs of this genus are terrestrial direct developers (Bahir et al. 2005).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

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

Pseudophilautus frankenbergi is named after the late Regina Bauer Frankenberg (USA, 1908–1991). Through her will she established the Regina Bauer Frankenberg Foundation which supported the involvement of NatureServe in carrying out the Global Amphibian Assessment (Meegaskumbura and Manamendra-Arachchi, 2005).

The sister species of Pseudophilautus frankenbergi is P. auratus. These two species are separated from each other in 12S and 16S sequence divergence of 3.01–3.13% and a cytochrome-b sequence divergence of 11.6%. P. frankenbergi occurs only on the highest peaks (above 1,850 m elevation) of the Central Hills whereas P. auratus occurs only in Rakwana Hills, at elevations of about 1,000 m. The ranges of the two species are separated by a 1,450 m deep valley (Meegaskumbura and Manamendra-Arachchi, 2005).


Bahir, M. M., Meegaskumbura, M., Manamendra-Arachchi, K., Schneider, C. J., and Pethiyagoda, R. (2005). ''Reproduction and terrestrial direct development in Sri Lankan shrub frogs (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae: Philautus).'' The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 12, 339-350. [link]

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]

Meegaskumbura M. & Manamendra-Arachchi K. (2005). ''Description of eight new species of shrub frogs (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae: Philautus) from Sri Lanka.'' Raffles Bulletin Zoology Supplemental, 12, 305-338. [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 Pseudophilautus frankenbergi: Frankenberg's Shrub Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 3, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 3 Mar 2024.

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