Sphaerotheca dobsonii (Boulenger, 1882)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Dicroglossidae > Subfamily: Dicroglossinae > Genus: Sphaerotheca > Species: Sphaerotheca dobsonii

English Names

Mangalore Bullfrog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 110).

Dobson's Burrowing Frog (Das and Dutta, 1998, Hamadryad, 23: 66; Daniels, 2005, Amph. Peninsular India: 244; Dinesh, Radhakrishnan, Gururaja, and Bhatta, 2009, Rec. Zool. Surv. India, Occas. Pap., 302: 35).


Endemic to India: Western Ghats of southern India from southernmost Tamil Nadu north through Kerala and western Karnataka and western Maharashtra, to southernmost Gujarat, and with substantially less confidence to the east and north to Andhra Pradesh and Orissa state. See comment. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: India

Endemic: India


Considered a synonym of Tomopterna breviceps by Bhati and Shukla, 1975, Ann. Zool., Agra, 11: 73–75, and Dubois, 1983, Alytes, 2: 164, but resurrected by Pillai, 1982, Rec. Zool. Surv. India, 79: 363–365, and Dutta, 1986, Rec. Zool. Surv. India, 83: 123–127. See account by Boulenger, 1920, Rec. Indian Mus., 20: 105. Orissa records by Dutta, 1998 "1997", Hamadryad, 22: 117–118. Dubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 57, regarded the name Rana dobsonii as either another nominal species within the group or incertae sedis within the subgenus Sphaerotheca of Tomopterna. Without discussion, Biju, 2001, Occas. Publ. Indian Soc. Conserv. Biol., 1: 17, suggested that this is a junior synonym of Tomopterna pluvialis. Chanda, 2002, Handb. Indian Amph.: 143–144, 213, provided a brief account (as Tomopterna dobsoni). Dutta, 1997, Amph. India Sri Lanka: 160–161, provided a range, systematic comments, and partial taxonomic bibliography. Daniels, 2005, Amph. Peninsular India: 244–245, provided an account. Das and Dutta, 2007, Hamadryad, 31: 154–181, noted no larval descriptions in the literature. Srinivasulu and Das, 2008, Asiat. Herpetol. Res., 11: 110–131, reported the species in the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh. A very brief characterization, photograph, and dot map for the Western Ghats provided by Subramanian, Dinesh, and Radhakrishnan, 2013, Atlas of Endemic Amph. W. Ghats: 56.  Dahanukar, Sulakhe, and Padhye, 2017, J. Threatened Taxa, 9: 10281–10280, discussed the species and implied that the species attached to this name will be found to be restricted to the Western Ghats of South India. Prasad, Dinesh, Das, Swamy, Shinde, and Vishnu, 2019, Rec. Zool. Surv. India, 119: 207, noted substantial genetic distance among populations from Tamhini, Maharashtra, and coastal Karnataka, India, and did not think that the species extended outside of the Western Ghats. Sreekumar and Dinesh, 2020, Rec. Zool. Surv. India, 120: 33–40, discussed the range in Maharashtra, India, in terms of agro-climatic zones. Jablonski, Masroor, and Hofmann, 2021, Diversity, 13 (216): 4, provided molecular evidence that Sphaerotheca dobsonii is the sister taxon of Sphaerotheca  breviceps. Parmar, 2021, Reptiles & Amphibians, 28: 497–498, provided a record from Dangs District, southern Gujarat, India, disputed the record from Jamnagar District, western Gujarat, India, and provided a range map. Srinivasulu and Kumar, 2022, J. Threatened Taxa, 14: 21272, noted the lack of vouchers from the state of Telangana, south-central India.  

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