Kaloula pulchra
(Malaysian Painted Frog)
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Kaloula pulchra Gray, 1831

Common name: Malaysian Painted Frog

Synonyms and Other Names: Known as the “Chubby Frog” in the pet trade.

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Native Range: Southeast Asia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam (AmphibiaWeb, 2012).

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Nonindigenous Occurrences: K. pulchra has been collected from Broward County, Florida, since  2006 (Krysko et al. 2011).

Ecology: This species is found in wetlands, river banks, forest edges, and dry forests, as well as agricultural and residential areas.  It breeds in season pools or ponds (Kuangyang et al. 2009).

The Malaysian Painted Frog is a nocturnal, fossorial species. It can burrow or climb into shrubby trees (Kuangyang et al. 2009).

In India, this frog calls after the first heavy monsoon showers in April through May. The males call while floating in pools of water. The tadpoles can metamorphose in as little as 2 weeks. This species eats worms and insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, and ants (AmphibiaWeb, 2012).

Means of Introduction: Pet trade.

Status: A failed introducton in Florida.

Impact of Introduction: Unknown. The species is a potential invasive species. It has been introduced and become established in Taiwan, Guam, Singapore, Borneo, and Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), with specimens noted in Australia and New Zealand (Lazell and Lu, 1996; Christy et al. 2007; Kuangyang et al. 2009).

Remarks: It has been accidentally introduced to several countries (e.g., Guam), presumably via maritime or air-transport vessels and the pet trade (Christy et al. 2007). One specimen was discovered at the Perth airport in 2005, and one found in cargo at a New Zealand wharf, but there are no records showing the species has become established in either Australia or New Zealand. It often takes advantage of urban environments where it can be quite abundant (AmphibiaWeb, 2012).

The Malaysian Painted Frog can exude highly sticky secretions that most likely are used to deter predators. These secretions are noxious (unpleasant tasting) but do not contain detectable levels of toxins when tested (AmphibiaWeb, 2012).

References: (click for full references)

AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. 2012. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available from: http://amphibiaweb.org/. Accessed 1/1-13/2012.

Christy, M., Savidge, J., and Rodda, G. 2007. Multiple pathways for invasion of anurans on a Pacific island: Diversity and Distributions 13(5):598—607.

Krysko, K.L. and 12 others. 2011. Verified non-indigenous amphibians and reptiles in Florida from 1863 through 2010: Outlining the invasion process and identifying invasion pathways and stages. Zootaxa 3028:1-64.

Kuangyang, L., Y. Zhigang, S. Haitao, G. Baorong, P.P. Paul van Dijk, D. Iskandar, R. Inger, S. Dutta, S. Sengupta, S.U. Sarker & G.S.M. Asmat 2009. Kaloula pulchra. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Accessed 3/5/2013.

Lazell, J., and W. Lu. 1996. Geographic distribution, Kaloula pulchra pulchra. Herpetologial Review 27(4):209.

Author: Pam Fuller, and Robert S. Howell.

Revision Date: 8/13/2015

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Robert S. Howell., 2017, Kaloula pulchra Gray, 1831: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2865, Revision Date: 8/13/2015, Access Date: 9/20/2017

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

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Page Last Modified: Thursday, January 26, 2017


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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2017]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [9/20/2017].

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