AmphibiaWeb - Rhacophorus lateralis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Rhacophorus lateralis Boulenger, 1883
family: Rhacophoridae
subfamily: Rhacophorinae
genus: Rhacophorus
Species Description: Das, I. 2000. Nomenclatural history and rediscovery of Rhacophorus lateralis Boulenger, 1883 (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae). Current Herpetology: 35-40.
Rhacophorus lateralis
© 2017 Benjamin Tapley / ZSL (1 of 9)
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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Diagnosis and description: Rhacophorus lateralis has an SVL of 31 mm. The skin is smooth and granular on the venter and the undersurfaces of the thighs. It has a rounded snout and an interorbital space broader than the upper eyelid. The tympanum is smaller than the eye. Its three outer fingers are almost entirely webbed, while all of the toes are almost entirely webbed. The discs of the fingers and toes are smaller than the tympanum. There is a rather indistinct, inner metatarsal tubercle (Boulenger 1883).

Coloration: The background color of R. lateralis is green or reddish purple. Ventrally, the species is white or pinkish white. The head and back have dark dots, and colored parts of the limbs have dark cross lines. There is a white streak on each side from the nostril along the outer edge of the upper eyelid to the groin. The arm, three inner fingers, and four inner toes are clear (Boulenger 1883; Molur and Molur 2010).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: India

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R. lateralis is only found in two areas of the southern Western Ghats of India: Kerala and Karnataka at an elevation of about 800 m above sea level. The species lives in tropical rain forests and deciduous forests. It is usually found in the lower cover and understory level of the forest (Biju et al. 2004).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
R. lateralis is an arboreal frog. Its breeding season is from June to September. The species displays axillary amplexus (Biju 2009). It is oviparous. It breeds on vegetation overhanging small pools where the tadpoles eventually develop (Biju et al. 2004).

When handled, R. lateralis changes color to bright brown with coffee colored dots in only 5 seconds (Molur and Molur 2010).

Trends and Threats
Rhacophorus lateralis is very rare in the wild. The population of Rhacophorus lateralis is declining largely because of habitat loss due to deforestation and agriculture (Biju et al. 2004).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

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


Biju, S. D. (2009). ''A novel nesting behavior of a treefrog, Rhacophorus lateralis, in the Western Ghats, India.'' , 97, 433-437.

Boulenger, G. A. (1883). ''Descriptions of new species of reptiles and batrachians in the British Museum.'' The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Ser. 5, 12, 161-167.

Molur, S., and Molur, P. (2010). ''Rhacophorus lateralis in Madikeri, Kodagu, Karnataka.''

Stuart, S., Hoffmann, M., Chanson, J., Cox, N., Berridge, R., Ramani, P., Young, B. (eds) (2008). Threatened Amphibians of the World. Lynx Edicions, IUCN, and Conservation International, Barcelona, Spain; Gland, Switzerland; and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Originally submitted by: Prathik Kumar (first posted 2011-06-23)
Edited by: Brent Nguyen (2012-03-22)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Rhacophorus lateralis <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 16, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 16 Jul 2024.

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