IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Polypedates otilophus (File-Eared Tree Frog) is a medium to large sized frog; males range from 64-80 mm and females from 82-97 mm (Inger and Stuebing 1997). The head is triangular (Inger and Stuebing 1997) and longer than it is broad (Malkmus 2002), with a protruding, sharp point at the angle of the jaw (Inger and Stuebing 1997), though somewhat rounded in profile (Malkmus 2002). Pupils are horizontal, with yellowish gray irises (Malkmus 2002). Eye-nostril distance is more than twice the nostril-snout distance (Inger 1966). The tympanum is conspicuous, oval-shaped, with a horizontal diameter 3/4 of the eye diameter (Inger 1966). There is a serrated, bony ridge behind the eye and above the tympanum (Iskandar 2004). Vomerine teeth are present in oblique groups between the choanae, and closer to the choanae than to each other (Inger 1966). The body is generally robust, with slender limbs (Inger 1966), though on Borneo this frog may have a compressed body and long limbs (Malkmus 2002). Skin above is generally smooth and may have whitish spinose asperities (Inger 1966). The sides and abdomen are coarsely granular (Malkmus 2002). There is a small pointed projection at the heel with a smaller one at the elbow (Inger and Stuebing 1997), as well as 4-6 white tubercles below the vent and sometimes a white dermal fringe above it (Inger 1966). Finger tips are expanded into large discs, with the outermost only slightly narrower than tympanum diameter; the toe tips are also expanded, but much less so than the outer finger tips (Inger 1966). Webbing is rudimentary between 1st and 2nd fingers and absent between outer ones; toes are webbed over half to almost full length (Malkmus 2002). Supernumerary tubercles are present on the metacarpals. An oval inner (no outer) metatarsal tubercle is present (Inger 1966). Males have median subgular vocal sacs with round, bilateral openings near the jaw commissures (Inger 1966). Nuptial pads are grayish or yellowish velvety structures on the first and second fingers (Inger 1966). Pink lineae masculinae are present at the dorsal and ventral borders of the obliquus muscle (Inger 1966).

Dorsal coloration varies from light brown or gray to yellowish brown or bright yellow (Malkmus 2002; Iskandar 2004). Ventral coloration is generally cream-colored (Inger 1966) or dirty white (Malkmus 2002). Numerous thin black stripes run down the back from the head; the inguinal region has black lines and dots; and the thighs have 7-11 narrow black bars on the anterior and posterior faces (Malkmus 2002).

Total length of tadpoles reaches a maximum of 80 mm (Malkmus 2002). Tadpoles have spheroidal bodies with the top of the head flattened and dorsolaterally placed eyes, visible from below (Inger 1966). Nostrils are much closer to the tip of the snout than to the eye, with eye-nostril distance equal to the internarial distance(Inger 1966). The tail is convex, deepest at the center and tapering to a long narrow tip, with a weak caudal muscle and both fins deeper than muscle beyond the basal third of the tail (Inger 1966). The spiracle is sinistral and non-tubular, located below the line between the eye and the insertion of the hind limb, and closer to the eye than to the tail (Inger 1966). The anus is dextral and does not reach the margin of the ventral fin (Inger 1966). The oral disc is ventral, subterminal, and about one-third of the body width (Inger 1966). Papillae are found in double, staggered rows along the margin of the lower lip and at the corners of the upper lip, with a gap in papillae at the center of the lower lip (Inger 1966). Labial teeth rows follow the formula 4(2-4)/3 or 5(2-5)/3 (Malkmus 2002). Tadpole beaks are strong, black, and denticulated, with the upper one pronouncedly convex at the center (Inger 1966).

Larvae are yellowish green above and silvery white below; the dorsal fin may also have golden dots (Malkmus 2002). Larvae acquire adult patterning on the body and hind limbs prior to eruption of fore limbs (Inger 1966). Malkmus (2002) notes that P. otilophus larvae are very similar to those of P. macrotis.

First described by Boulenger (1893), this species was originally given the nameRhacophorus otilophus. It was renamed to Polypedates otilophus byLiem (1970).


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