Microhyla ornata (Duméril and Bibron, 1841)

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

Engystoma ornatum Duméril and Bibron, 1841, Erp. Gen., 6: 745. Holotype: MNHNP 5035, according to Guibé, 1950 "1948", Cat. Types Amph. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat.: 62. Type locality: "côte Malabar", India. Biju, 2001, Occas. Publ. Indian Soc. Conserv. Biol., 1: 8, noted the imprecision of this type locality.

Siphneus ornatumFitzinger, 1843, Syst. Rept.: 33.

Engystoma malabaricum Jerdon, 1853, J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 22: 534. Types: Not stated, presumably originally in ZSIC; reported as lost by Jerdon, 1870, Proc. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 1870: 67. Type locality: "Malabar", India. Biju, 2001, Occas. Publ. Indian Soc. Conserv. Biol., 1: 8, noted the imprecision of this type locality. Tentative synonymy by Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 165.

Engystoma carnaticum Jerdon, 1853, J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 22: 534. Types: Not stated, presumably originally in ZSIC; reported as lost by Jerdon, 1870, Proc. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 1870: 67. Type locality: "the Carnatic", South India. Synonymy by Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 165; Bourret, 1942, Batr. Indochine: 524.

Diplopelma ornatumGünther, 1859 "1858", Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus.: 50.

Diplopelma carnaticumStoliczka, 1870, J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 39: 154; Anderson, 1879 "1878", Anat. Zool. Res.: 841.

Microhyla (Engystoma) carnaticaMason, 1882, Burma, Ed. 3: 292.

Microhyla ornataBoulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 165.

Microhyla (Diplopelma) ornataBourret, 1927, Fauna Indochine, Vert., 3: 263; Dubois, 1987, Alytes, 6: 4.

English Names

Ant Frog (Khan, 1979, Biologia, Lahore, 25: 40; Khan, 2002, Bull. Chicago Herpetol. Soc., 37: 159).

Ornate Narrow-mouthed Frog (Ananjeva, Borkin, Darevsky, and Orlov, 1988, Dict. Amph. Rept. Five Languages: 98; Das and Dutta, 1998, Hamadryad, 23: 64; Lue, Tu, and Hsiang, 1999, Atlas Taiwan Amph. Rept.: 60; Dinesh, Radhakrishnan, Gururaja, and Bhatta, 2009, Rec. Zool. Surv. India, Occas. Pap., 302: 55).

Ornate Narrowmouth Frog (Schleich, Anders, and Kästle, 2002, in Schleich and Kästle (eds.), Amph. Rept. Nepal: 79).

Ornate Rice Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 90).

Ornate Ricefrog (Lue, Tu, and Hsiang, 1999, Atlas Taiwan Amph. Rept.: 60).

Black-throated Frog (Anders, 2002, in Schleich and Kästle (eds.), Amph. Rept. Nepal: 188).

Ornamented Pigmy Frog (Ahmed, Das, and Dutta, 2009, Amph. Rept. NE India: 33).

Ornamented Chorus Frog (Dinesh, Radhakrishnan, Deepak, and Kulkarni, 2023, Fauna India Checklist, vers. 5.0 : 8).


Sri Lanka and southern India in isolated populations in the Western Ghats region northeast to central Andhra Pradesh; reported for Bangladesh and Tripura, India (see comment). 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka


See accounts in Kirtisinghe, 1957, Amph. Ceylon: 88-90; and Dutta and Manamendra-Arachchi, 1996, Amph. Fauna Sri Lanka: 31. Matsui, Ito, Shimada, Ota, Saidapur, Khonsue, Tanaka-Ueno, and Wu, 2005, Zool. Sci., Tokyo, 22: 489-495, on the basis of mtDNA sequence analysis suggested that Microhyla ornata is the sister taxon of Microhyla rubra, and not close to other species formerly considered to be closely related or synonymous (ie., Microhyla okivanensis and Microhyla fissipes) with Microhyla ornata. See comment under Microhyla fissipesde Silva, 2009, Amph. Rep. Sri Lanka Photograph. Guide: 79, provided a brief account and color photograph. Chanda, 2002, Handb. Indian Amph.: 41-42, provided a brief account for the Indian population (now Microhyla ornata, Microhyla nilphamariensis, and Microhyla mumensingensis) and Dutta, 1997, Amph. India Sri Lanka: 60-61, provided literature access (to Microhyla ornata, in the sense of including Microhyla ornata, Microhyla nilphamariensis, and Microhyla mumensingensis). Ray, 1999, Mem. Zool. Surv. India, 18: 78-82, provided an account for India. Das and Dutta, 2007, Hamadryad, 31: 154–181, noted several larval descriptions in the literature of varying completeness. Masroor, 2012, Contr. Herpetol. N. Pakistan: 50–52, provided an account for northern Pakistan (although this likely applies to Microhyla nilphamariensis). Wijayathilaka and Meegaskumbura, 2016, PLoS One, 11(7: e0159003): 1–11, discussed the advertisement call in Sri Lanka.  Hasan, Islam, Kuramoto, Kurabayashi, and Sumida, 2014, Zootaxa, 3755: 408, implied that beyond Microhyla ornata (likely misidentified), at least one more cryptic species remains to be named from Bangladesh (likely Microhyla mymensingensis and Microhyla nilphamariensis). Khan, 2006, Amph. Rept. Pakistan: 54-55, provided a brief account for Pakistan (although this likely applies  although this likely applies to Microhyla nilphamariensis). 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 from near Chittagong, Bangladesh, are referable to Microhyla fissipes and that samples from Mymensingh and Sylhet, Bangladesh, represents an unnamed species (subsequently named as Microhyla mukhlesuri and Microhyla mymensinghensis). See comment under Microhyla fissipes for discussion of Chinese populations referred to Microhyla ornata. Sivaprasad, 2013, Common Amph. Kerala: 88–89, provided a brief account, photograph, and dot map for Kerala, India (possibly either Microhyla ornata or Microhyla nilphamariensis). Hasan, Islam, Khan, Igawa, Alam, Tjong, Kurniawan, Joshy, Yong, Belabut, Kurabayashi, Kuramoto, and Sumida, 2014, Turkish J. Zool., 38: 389, suggested on the basis of 16S mtDNA divergence that the population from Mudigere and Talapu, Karnataka, South India, may represent unnamed species (Note: Other species have been named from this area since this paper was published, possibly meaning that these are now named, DRF). Subba, Aravind, and Ravikanth, 2016, Check List, 13(1: 2033): 12, considered the presence of this species in Sikkim, India, to be doubtful, although possibly applicable to Microhyla nilphamariensisGarg, Das, Kamei, and Biju, 2018, MtDNA, Part B, 3: 856–861, addressed the Microhyla ornata complex via DNA barcodes, and provided generalized range maps. Shen, 2014, Fauna Hunan, Amph.: 338–342, provided an account for Hunan, China, for which the current identification is unknown. Li, 2011, Amph. Rept. Guangdong: 74, provided a brief account for Guangdong, China, and photograph (presumably now reassigned to other species). In the Microhyla ornata species group of Garg, Suyesh, Das, Jiang, Wijayathilaka, Amarasinghe, Alhadi, Vineeth, Aravind, Senevirathne, Meegaskumbura, and Biju, 2018 "2019", Vert. Zool., Senckenberg, 69: 1–71, who summarized the literature, redescribed the holotype, and noted that either Engystoma carnaticum Jerdon, 1853, or Engystoma malabaricum Jerdon, 1853, currently considered synonyms of this species might actually apply to Microhyla nilphamariensisDeuti, Sethy, and Ray, 2014, Rec. Zool. Surv. India, 114: 123–124, provided a  brief account for the population of the Eastern Ghats, India. Ahmad and Mim, 2020, IRCF Rept. & Amph., 27: 36–41, reported unvouchered localities from the Bandarban District, southeastern Bangladesh. Purkayastha, Khan, and Roychoudhury, 2020, in Roy et al. (eds.), Socio-economic and Eco-biological Dimensions in Resource use and Conservation, Environmental Science and Engineering: 225–233, provided a record for Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary, Tripura, India. Sreekumar and Dinesh, 2020, Rec. Zool. Surv. India, 120: 33–40, discussed the range in Maharashtra, India, in terms of agro-climatic zones. 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 ornata group. Ganesh and Guptha, 2021, J. Anim. Diversity, 3(3): 28, provided records from the Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh, India. Rahman, Nneji, and Hossain, 2022, J. Asia-Pacific Biodiversity, 15: 151, suggested that both Microhyla ornata and Microhyla nilphamariensis occur in Bangladesh. Srinivasulu and Kumar, 2022, J. Threatened Taxa, 14: 21268, reported the species from the state of Telangana, south-central India. Srigyan, Samad, Singh, Karan, Chandra, Sinha, Vineeth, Das, Thomas, and Suyesh, 2024, PeerJ, 12(e16903): 1–34, compared the calls of Microhyla nilphamariensis with that of Microhyla ornata.        

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