Phrynoidis asper (Gravenhorst, 1829)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Bufonidae > Genus: Phrynoidis > Species: Phrynoidis asper

Bufo asper Gravenhorst, 1829, Delic. Mus. Zool. Vratislav., 1: 58. Types: Not stated. Largest specimen of RMNH 2172 (4 specimens originally, paralectotypes now 10681) designated lectotype by Inger, 1966, Fieldiana, Zool., 52: 66. M. Hoogmoed in Inger, 1985, in Frost (ed.), Amph. Species World: 36, doubted the validity of these specimens as Gravenhorst types, because Gravenhorst's specimens, although sent from the RMNH, are probably in the Breslau (= Vratislava) Museum. Nevertheless, Gassó Miracle, van den Hoek Ostende, and Arntzen, 2007, Zootaxa, 1482: 32, accepted RMNH 10681 as the lectotype. Type locality: "Java", Indonesia.

Phrynoidis asper — Fitzinger in Treitschke, 1842, Naturhistorisch. Bild. Thierr., 3: 166. 

Phrynoidis asper — Fitzinger, 1843, Syst. Rept.: 32, by implication.

Phrynoides asperFitzinger, 1864, Bilder Altas Wissenschaftl. Naturgesch. Amph.: pl. 90, fig. 153. Incorrect subsequent spelling.

Cyclogaster borneensis Steindachner, 1867, Reise Österreichischen Fregatte Novara, Zool., Amph.: 44. Nomen nudum proposed as a junior synonym of Bufo asper and attributed to Fitzinger.

Nectes obscurus Barbour, 1904, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 17: 51. Holotype: MCZ 2396, by original designation; Barbour and Loveridge, 1929, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 69: 307, reported two syntypes under this number. Type locality: "Sarawak, Borneo [Malaysia]". Provisional synonymy by Bourret, 1942, Batr. Indochine: 177; synonymy by Inger, 1966, Fieldiana, Zool., 52: 66.

Bufo obscurusBarbour, 1912, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., 44: 75.

Pseudobufo obscurusNieden, 1914, Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturforsch. Freunde Berlin, 1914: 370.

Bufo verrucigerus Mertens, 1924, Senckenb. Biol., 6: 185. Holotype: SMF 1286.2a by original designation; renumbered SMF 3575 according to Mertens, 1967, Senckenb. Biol., 48(A): 40. Type locality: "angeblich Borneo". Synonymy by Mertens, 1967, Senckenb. Biol., 48(A): 40.

Bufo asperSmith, 1931, Bull. Raffles Mus., 5: 30. Based on misidentified specimens of Bufo juxtasper according to Inger, 1964, Fieldiana, Zool., 44: 154.

Phrynoidis asperaFei, Ye, Huang, Jiang, and Xie, 2005, in Fei et al. (eds.), Illust. Key Chinese Amph.: 94, by implication; Frost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297: 365.

Phrynoidis asper — Schmidtler, 2013, Herpetozoa, Wien, 26 : 15. 

English Names

Malayan Giant Toad (Kiew, 1987, Malayan Nat. J., 41: 417).

Java Toad (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 40).

Rough Toad (Iskandar, 1998, Amph. Java Bali: 45).

River Toad (Iskandar, 1998, Amph. Java Bali: 45; Chan-ard, 2003, Photograph. Guide Amph. Thailand: 88; Das, Jankowski, Makmor, and Haas, 2007, Mitt. Hamburg. Zool. Mus. Inst., 104: 148; Das, 2007, Amph. Rept. Brunei: 26; Grismer, 2012, Field Guide Amph. Rept. Seribuat Arch.: 44).

Giant Asiatic Toad (Nutphund, 2001, Amph. Thailand: 71).

Barking Toad (Nutphund, 2001, Amph. Thailand: 71).

Giant Asian Toad (Nguyen, Ho, and Nguyen, 2005, Checklist Amph. Rept. Vietnam: 16).

Asian Giant Toad (Zug and Mulcahy, 2020 "2019", Amph. Rept. S. Tanintharyi: 29). 

Spiny River Toad (Zug, 2022, Smithson. Contrib. Zool., 653: 16).


Southern Myanmar (Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Tanintharyi) through western and peninsular Thailand (including Tarutao Island, Satun Province) through Malaya to Sumatra, Borneo, Bunguran I. (Natuna Is.) and Java; in Vietnam on the border of Gia Lai and Dac Lac provinces to the northwest of Plei Tung Than at approximately 700 m (see comment); presumably also in intervening Cambodia and Laos.

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Malaysia, East (Sarawak and/or Sabah), Malaysia, West (Peninsular), Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam

Likely/Controversially Present: Cambodia, Laos


In the Bufo asper group of Martin, 1972, in Blair (ed.), Evol. Genus Bufo: 65, and Inger, 1972, in Blair (ed.), Evol. Genus Bufo: 107. See Taylor, 1962, Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull., 43: 326–329, Inger, 1966, Fieldiana, Zool., 52: 66–69, and Bourret, 1942, Batr. Indochine: 176–178, for synonymy and discussion; also see Berry, 1975, Amph. Fauna Peninsular Malaysia: 46–47, for account. Yang, Liu, and Rao, 1996, Zool. Res., Kunming, 17: 356, suggested that Bufo asper might be in the genus Torrentophryne. This was not accepted by Rao, Yang, and Wang, 1998, Russ. J. Herpetol., 5: 67. Further, if Bufo asper is included in Torrentophryne, it brings with it an older generic name Phrynoidis Fitzinger, 1843, which would be a subjective senior synonym of Torrentophryne. See account by Iskandar, 1998, Amph. Java Bali: 45–46. See brief account and photo by Manthey and Grossmann, 1997, Amph. Rept. Südostasiens: 31. Orlov, Murphy, Ananjeva, Ryabov, and Ho, 2002, Russ. J. Herpetol., 9: 84, provided the Vietnam record. Nutphund, 2001, Amph. Thailand: 71, provided a brief characterization and photograph and suggested that the species is found throughout Thailand. Chan-ard, 2003, Photograph. Guide Amph. Thailand: 90–91, provided a very brief account, map for Thailand, and photograph. Reported for Pulau Langkawi, Kadeh, northwestern West Malaysia, by Grismer, Youmans, Wood, Ponce, Wright, Jones, Johnson, Sanders, Gower, Yaakob, and Lim, 2006, Hamadryad, 30: 61–74. Das, Jankowski, Makmor, and Haas, 2007, Mitt. Hamburg. Zool. Mus. Inst., 104: 148, provided a brief description. Das, 2007, Amph. Rept. Brunei: 26, provided a photograph and a brief account (as Bufo asper). Grismer, Chan, Grismer, Wood, and Ahmad, 2010, Russ. J. Herpetol., 17: 147–160, reported localities from the Banjaran Bintang Mountains, northwestern peninsular Malaysia. Thong-aree, Chan-ard, Cota, and Makchai, 2011, Thailand Nat. Hist. Mus. J., 5: 99–106, reported the species from Bala Forest, Narathiwat, extreme southern Thailand. Chan-ard, Cota, and Makchai, 2011, Amph. E. Region Thailand: 128, detailed the distribution in Thailand.  See brief account by Grismer, 2012, Field Guide Amph. Rept. Seribuat Arch.: 44–45, for the Seribuat Archipelago, West Malaysia. Schmidtler, 2013, Herpetozoa, Wien, 26 : 15–26, discussed the original description of this species. Nidup, Wangkulangkul, Satasook, Bates, and Juthong, 2013, Proc. World Biodiversity Congr., 2013: 1–13, reported a population on Tarutao Island, Satun Province, Thailand, and analysed the advertisement call. Shahriza and Ibrahim, 2014, Check List, 10: 253–259, provided a photograph and brief natural history observations for a population in Kedah, West Malaysia. Sumarli, Grismer, Anuar, Muin, and Quah, 2015, Check List, 11(4, Art. 1679): 8, reported specimens from the base of Mount Lawit and from Lata Tembaka, Terregganu, West Malaysia, and and reported on natural history and life history. Mulcahy, Lee, Miller, Chand, Thura, and Zug, 2018, ZooKeys, 757: 85–162, a genetically-confirmed record from Tanintharyi Division, Myanmar. Amram, Zainudin, and Wahid, 2018, Sains Malaysiana, 47: 1–7, reported on the mating call. Niyomwan, Srisom, and Pawangkhanant, 2019, Field Guide Amph. Thailand: 190–191, provided a brief account (photographs, habitat, and range) for Thailand (in Thai). Zug and Mulcahy, 2020 "2019", Amph. Rept. S. Tanintharyi: 29–30, provided a brief account for South Tanintharyi, peninsular Myanmar. See brief account for East Java by Amin, 2020, Frogs of East Java: 37–40. Makchai, Chuaynkern, Safoowong, Chuachat, and Cota, 2020, Amph. N. Thailand: 49, provided photographs, a brief account for Thailand, and a range map. Poyarkov, Nguyen, Popov, Geissler, Pawangkhanant, Neang, Suwannapoom, and Orlov, 2021, Russ. J. Herpetol., 28 (3A): 21, suggested that records from Vietnam require confirmation, although Orlov and Ananjeva, 2007, Amph. SE Asia, provided a photograph from Dak Lak Province, Vietnam. Hong, Anuar, Grismer, and Quah, 2021, Check List, 17: 794, reported the species from Batu Hampar Recreational Forest, Kedah, West Malaysia. Zug, 2022, Smithson. Contrib. Zool., 653: 16, discussed identification, habitat, and range in Myanmar. Badriah, Wahyuni, Usman, Mahrawi, Ratnasari, and Rifqiawati, 2022, Berkala Ilmiah Biologi, 13 (3): 1–8, reported specimens from Ujong Kulon National Park, extreme western Java, Indonesia. Herlambang, Riyanto, Munir, Hamidy, Kimura, Eto, and Mumpuni, 2022, Treubia, 49: 78, reported the species from Bungaran I., Natuna Is., Indonesia.      

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