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Microhyla achatina is a small frog with a narrow head and mouth. Males of this species have a snout-vent length of about 20 mm; the females are slightly larger with a snout-vent length reaching up to 25 mm. The eyes are small. Toes are webbed only at the base. Microhyla achatina has smooth, yellowish brown skin with dark sides and a pair of black stripes on the back. A light vertebral stripe is also present in some individuals (Iskandar, 1998).

The tadpole has a wide tail with black bands, with the tail terminating in a central filament. The spiracle is located in the middle of the ventrum, and is covered with a sheet of skin. Tadpoles of this species also have expanded lower lips (but not laterally expanded) which enable them to feed at the water's surface (Iskandar, 1998).

Microhyla achatina has a tadpole similar to M. heymonsi (found in Sumatra and Malaysia) and may be related most closely to this species. Iskandar (1998) also raises the possibility that another species related to Microhyla achatina exists on Java, as tadpoles have been found in Sancang, Java which resemble but are not identical to those of M. achatina. The Sancang tadpole has a narrower labial cup and tailfins with yellow and black coloration (Iskandar, 1998).


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