True frog (Platymantis guentheri)
|Size||Male snout-vent length: 24 - 33 mm (2)|
Female snout-vent length: 27 - 40 mm (2)
Platymantis guentheri is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).
Platymantis guentheri is a tree-dwelling frog, with a distinctive light brown colouration. It has black banding on the limbs and irregular black spots on the body (3), in contrast, the underside of Platymantis guentheri is pale cream and scattered with brown flecks (2).
This species is fairly small compared with many other species of the genus Platymantis, and has wide finger and toe discs, and smooth skin on its back (4).
Platymantis guentheri is endemic to the Philippines and is found on the islands of Bohol, Leyte, Biliran, Maripipi, Dinagat, Panglao, and Mindanao (1).
Platymantis guentheri inhabits tropical and sub-tropical rainforest and is found from sea level up to elevations of 700 metres (5). Although it is generally an arboreal species, it may also be found amongst leaf litter on the forest floor, and under logs and rocks (2).
Following copulation, the female typically lays a clutch of 20 to 24 colourless eggs which are 2 to 3 millimetres in diameter (2). Little more is known about the reproductive biology of Platymantis guentheri; however, it is assumed that like many other Platymantis species, it deposits the eggs amongst the leaves of epiphytic plants and aerial ferns (1).
Species of the Platymantis genus are unusual in that they exhibit ‘direct development’, with the eggs developing straight into froglets, rather than undergoing an aquatic larval stage (6).
The main threat faced by Platymantis guentheri is habitat loss due to agricultural expansion and the logging of large areas of lowland rainforest (1).
There are currently no specific conservation measures in place for Platymantis guentheri. However, this species does occur within a few protected areas, including Mount Malindang National Park and Mount Apo Natural Park. Additional protection of the rainforest habitats across the rest of its range is required to prevent further population declines, particularly on the islands of Mindanao, Leyte, Bohol, and Dinagat (1).
Find out more about Platymantis guentheri and its conservation:
IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group:
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- Arboreal: an animal which lives or spends a large amount of time in trees.
- Endemic: a species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- Epiphytic: a plant that grows on another plant, typically a tree, using it for physical support but not drawing nourishment from it.
- Genus: a category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
- Larval: of the stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
IUCN Red list (July, 2011)
- Brown, W.C., Alcala, A.C., Diesmos, A.C. and Alcala, E. (1997) Species of the guentheri group of Platymantis with descriptions of four new species. Proceedings of the California Academy of Science, 50: 1-20.
- Wells, K.D. (2007) The Ecology and Behaviour of Amphibians. The University of Chicago Press, London.
- Alcala, A.C. and Brown, W.C. (1999) Philippine frogs of the genus Platymantis (Amphibia: Ranidae). Philippine Journal of Science, 128: 281-287.
- Vitt, L.J. and Caldwell, J.P. (2009) Herpetology. Academic Press, London.
- Alcala, A.C. and Brown, W.C. (1998) Philippine Amphibians: An Illustrated Field Guide. Bookmark Press, Philippines.