Microhyla fissipes Boulenger, 1884

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Microhylidae > Subfamily: Microhylinae > Genus: Microhyla > Species: Microhyla fissipes

Microhyla fissipes Boulenger, 1884, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 5, 13: 397. Holotype: BMNH 1884.3.11.6 according to Parker, 1934, Monogr. Frogs Fam. Microhylidae: 141, reregistered BM 1947.2.11.85, according to museum records. Type locality: Taiwan foo [= Tainan], S. Formosa [Taiwan, China].

Microhyla eremita Barbour, 1920, Occas. Pap. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan, 76: 3. Holotype: MCZ 5114, by original designation. Type locality: "Nanking [Nanjing Shi, Jaingsu Province], China". Synonymy with Microhyla ornata by Parker, 1928, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 10, 2: 494. Synonymy with Microhyla fissipes implied by Matsui, Ito, Shimada, Ota, Saidapur, Khonsue, Tanaka-Ueno, and Wu, 2005, Zool. Sci., Tokyo, 22: 489–495.

English Names

Ornamented Pygmy Frog (Fei, 1999, Atlas Amph. China: 294 [as Microhyla ornata]).

Ornata Microhylid Frog (Chanda, 2002, Handb. Indian Amph.: 41 [as Microhyla ornata]).

Malayan Bullfrog (Ananjeva, Borkin, Darevsky, and Orlov, 1988, Dict. Amph. Rept. Five Languages: 98 [as Microhyla ornata]).

Ornate Narrow-mouthed Frog (Maeda and Matsui, 1990, Frogs Toads Japan, Ed. 2: 177 [as Microhyla ornata];  Neang and Holden, 2008, Field Guide Amph. Cambodia: 65).

Ornate Narrowmouth Frog (Goris and Maeda, 2004, Guide Amph. Rept. Japan: 127 [as Microhyla ornata]).

Ornate Pigmy Frog (Karsen, Lau, and Bogadek, 1986, Hong Kong Amph. Rept.: 37 [as Microhyla ornata]).

Ornate Chorus Frog (Chan-ard, 2003, Photograph. Guide Amph. Thailand: 104 [as Microhyla ornata]).

Ornate Narrow-Mouth Frog (Poyarkov, Nguyen, Popov, Geissler, Pawangkhanant, Neang, Suwannapoom, and Orlov, 2021, Russ. J. Herpetol., 28 (3A): 41). 


Known with confidence northeast of the Red River Valley (from northeastern Vietnam and southern Yunnan to central and southern China (including  Hainan) and Taiwan northward and east to Shanxi and Shaanxi); records to the west and south of this have suspect identifications. See comment. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: China, People's Republic of, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Vietnam


Removed from the synonymy of Microhyla ornata by Matsui, Ito, Shimada, Ota, Saidapur, Khonsue, Tanaka-Ueno, and Wu, 2005, Zool. Sci., Tokyo, 22: 489–495, where it had been placed by Parker, 1928, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 10, 2: 493. Matsui, Ito, Shimada, Ota, Saidapur, Khonsue, Tanaka-Ueno, and Wu, 2005, Zool. Sci., Tokyo, 22: 489–495, provided discussion for phylogenetic placement of this species (noting it to be the sister taxon of Microhyla okinavensis) but noted that the distribution is poorly documented. See accounts (as Microhyla ornata) by Pope, 1931, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 61: 598; Bourret, 1942, Batr. Indochine: 524–527 (presumably also including Microhyla mukhlesuri); Liu, 1950, Fieldiana, Zool. Mem., 2: 248–252 (presumably also including Microhyla mukhlesuri); Chang, 1947, Trans. Chinese Assoc. Adv. Sci., 9: 98 (presumably also including Microhyla mukhlesuri); Huang, 1990, Fauna Zhejiang, Amph. Rept.: 92–93; Yang, 1991, Amph. Fauna of Yunnan: 243–245 (presumably also including Microhyla mukhlesuri); Ye, Fei, and Hu, 1993, Rare and Economic Amph. China: 344 (presumably also including Microhyla mukhlesuri); Fei, 1999, Atlas Amph. China: 294–295; Fan, Guo, and Liu, 1998, Amph. Rept. Shanxi Prov.: 76–78 (for Shanxi); and Yang and Zhao, 2005, Sichuan J. Zool., 24: 309–311 Zhang and Wen, 2000, Amph. Guangxi: 145, provided an account (as Microhyla ornata) for Guangxi. Fei and Ye, 2001, Color Handbook Amph. Sichuan: 224, provided a brief account (as Microhyla ornata) and illustration. See brief account (as Microhyla ornata) and photo by Manthey and Grossmann, 1997, Amph. Rept. Südostasiens: 64–65 (presumably including Microhyla muhklesuri). Kuramoto and Joshy, 2006, Curr. Herpetol., Kyoto, 25: 15–27, compared the morphology and calls of this species with Microhyla fissipes and Microhyla okinavensisDas and Dutta, 2007, Hamadryad, 31: 154–181, noted several larval descriptions in the literature of varying completeness. Yang, 2008, in Yang and Rao (ed.), Amph. Rept. Yunnan: 126–127, provided a brief account (as Microhyla ornata) for Yunnan, China (presumably including specimens of Microhyla muhklesuri). The species reported as Microhyla ornata by Huang, 1983, Acta Herpetol. Sinica, Chengdu, N.S.,, 2 (4): 66, from the Paracels/Xisha Islands, presumably refers to this species. Neang and Holden, 2008, Field Guide Amph. Cambodia: 65, provided a photograph, brief account of identification, ecology, and range in Cambodia. Hasan, Islam, Khan, Alam, Kurabayashi, Igawa, Kuramoto, and Sumida, 2012, Zool. Sci., Tokyo, 29: 162–172, suggested on the basis of molecular evidence that populations assigned to Microhyla ornata from the vicinity of Chittagong, Bangladesh, are referable to Microhyla fissipesFei, Ye, and Jiang, 2012, Colored Atlas Chinese Amph. Distr.: 572–573, provided an account, photographs, and a range map for China. The status of all populations of former Microhyla ornata in China has not been completely resolved: Fei, Hu, Ye, and Huang, 2009, Fauna Sinica, Amph. 2: 904–910, provided an account, spot map for China, of nominal Microhyla ornata, although it is very unlikely that this is the same as the Indian subcontinental species and likely represents both Microhyla fissipes and Microhyla mukhlesuri. Similarly, Fei, Ye, and Jiang, 2010, Colored Atlas of Chinese Amph.: 486–487, provided a brief account for China of nominal Microhyla ornata (again, presumably based on Microhyla fissipes and Microhyla mukhlesuri) including photographs of specimens and habitat. This was followed by Wei, Zhou, and Lin, 2013, Zool. Res., Kunming, 34: 14–20, reported on advertisement call of nominal Microhyla ornata in China and its geographic variation (presumably based on Microhyla fissipes and Microhyla mukhlesuri). Hasan, Islam, Kuramoto, Kurabayashi, and Sumida, 2014, Zootaxa, 3755: 405, suggested on molecular grounds that this is a species complex of which populations from Vientiane, Laos, and Kanchanburi, Thailand, represent unnamed species (now Microhyla mukhesuri). Manthey and Denzer, 2014, Sauria, Berlin, 36: 3–21, provided some morphology and color notes. Yuan, Suwannapoom, Yan, Poyarkov, Nguyen, Chen, Chomdej, Murphy, and Che, 2016, Curr. Zool., Chengdu, 62: 531–543, on the basis of molecular analysis, provided a discussion of Pleistocene climatic fluctuations on how they shaped the genetic structre of the Microhyla fissipes complex (Microhyla mukhlesuri and Microhyla fissipes); this study documented that Microhyla fissipes in not found west or south of the Red River in Yunnan, China, and Vietnam. Shi, 2011, Amph. Rept. Fauna Hainan: 54–55, provided an account for a related species (here tentatively assigned) in Hainan as Microhyla ornata. Guo, Yang, and Li, 2009, Colored Illust. Amph. Rept. Taiwan: 68–69, provided a brief account, photographs, and map. Chan-ard, Cota, and Makchai, 2011, Amph. E. Region Thailand: 50–51, provided a photograph and brief account for eastern Thailand, and (p. 131), detailed the distribution in Thailand (identification now suspect). Lee, Shaner, Lin, and Lin, 2106, Ecol. Evol., 6: 3289–3298, reported on geographic variation of the advertisement call in Taiwan. Zhang, 2017, Amph. Rept. Fanjing Mts.: 184–187, provided taxonomic and natural history information for the Fanjing Mountains population in northeastern Guizhou, China. Mulcahy, Lee, Miller, Chand, Thura, and Zug, 2018, ZooKeys, 757: 95, provided a record from Taninthary Division, southern Myanmar.  Zug, Mulcahy, Vindum, and Wilkinson, 2018, Alytes, 36: 272, briefly mentioned three cryptic lineages under this name, two found in Tanintharyi Division, peninsular Myanmar, and another found in Sagain, Mandalay, Magway, Bago, and Yangon, Myanmar. In the Microhyla fissipes species group of Garg, Suyesh, Das, Jiang, Wijayathilaka, Amarasinghe, Alhadi, Vineeth, Aravind, Senevirathne, Meegaskumbura, and Biju, 2018 "2019", Vert. Zool., Senckenberg, 69: 1–71. Pradana, Hamidy, Farajallah, and Smith, 2017, Zoo Indonesia, 26: 70–90, provided mtDNA 16S data that suggests that nominal Microhyla "fissipes" is paraphyletic with respect to Microhyla mukhlesuri and likely represents a species complex. Chen, Lin, Tang, Ding, Wu, and Lin, 2020, PeerJ, 8 (e8708): 1–19, reported on the advertisement call and provided a range map for China. Makchai, Chuaynkern, Safoowong, Chuachat, and Cota, 2020, Amph. N. Thailand: 118, provided a brief account, photographs, and a range map for Thailand. Gorin, Solovyeva, Hasan, Okamiya, Karunarathna, Pawangkhanant, de Silva, Juthong, Milto, Nguyen, Suwannapoom, Haas, Bickford, Das, and Poyarkov, 2020, PeerJ, 8 (e9411): 1–47, placed this species in their Microhyla fissipes group. Liu, Zhong, Wang, Li, Wei, Zou, Zhao, and Li, 2022, Diversity, 14 (550): 1–12, reported on call variation on a rural/urban gradient. Duong and Ngo, 2022, Herpetol. Notes, 15: 751–762, discussed range in Vietnam and provided records for Binh Dinh Province, southern Vietnam.  

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