Crab-eating Frog, Mangrove Frog, Asian Brackish Frog
© 2007 Wang Lijun (1 of 2)
Diagnosis: F. cancrivora can be distinguished from F. limnocharis by having a deeper head and a more pointed beak-like snout (McKay 2006).
Coloration: Color varies from brown, or greenish-brown, to gray, with irregular darker bars scattered on the lips and hindlimbs. The venter is whitish, sometimes with scattered darker markings (McKay 2006).
Coloration in Preservation: The dorsum and flanks are brown with indistinct brown spots. A wide, light brown mid-dorsal band runs from the tip of the snout to the vent. Vocal sacs are dark brown. The belly and undersides are white with light brown spots (Dubois and Ohler 2000).
Variation: Males have nuptial spines on the nuptial pads and vocal sacs are present (Dubois and Ohler 2000). Mature males may or may not have dark throats and thumbs, and sometimes lack slits opening to the vocal sac (McKay 2006).
Tadpole Morphology: Tadpoles have a maximum total length of 40 mm. The body is oval-shaped and dark-colored with dark spots. The tail is less than twice the body length. The spiracle is centered on one side of the body. The mouth is situated under the snout. The upper lip has a single row of papillae and the lower lip has two rows. (McKay 2006).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam. Introduced: Guam.
Malaysian region distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
F. cancrivora forages in sea water of about 1000-1100 mOsm/L (Dicker and Elliott 1970). The diet of frogs near brackish water is predominantly crustacean, including crabs. On the other hand, the diet of frogs near fresh water is comprised mainly of insects and some small vertebrates frogs. The choice-limiting factor appears to be prey size only (Elliott and Karunakaran 1974).
F. cancrivora breeds year-round, but is most active at the beginning of the wet season. The call sounds like a fast throat gargle (McKay 2006).
Trends and Threats
Relation to Humans
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Christy, M. T., Clark, C. S., Gee II, D. E., Vice, D., Vice, D. S., Warner, M. P., Tyrrell, C. L., Rodda, G. H. and Savidge, J. A. (2007). ''Recent records of alien anurans on the Pacific Island of Guam.'' Pacific Science, 61(4), 469-483.
Dicker, S.E. and Elliott, A.B. (1970). ''Water uptake by the Crab-eating Frog Rana Cancrivora, as affected by osmotic gradients and by neurohypophysial hormones.'' Journal of Physiology, 207, 119-132.
Dubois, A. and Ohler, A. (2000). ''Systematics of Fejervarya limnocharis (Gravenhorst, 1829) (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae) and related species. 1. Nomenclatural status and type-specimens of the nominal species Rana limnocharis Gravenhorst, 1829.'' Alytes, 18(1-2), 15-50.
Elliott, A.B., and Karunakaran, L. (1974). ''Diet of Rana cancrivora in fresh water and brackish water environments.'' Journal of Zoology, London, 174, 203-215.
Kusrini, M.D., and Alford, R.A. (2006). ''Indonesia’s exports of frogs’ legs.'' TRAFFIC Bull, 21, 13-24.
McKay, J.L. (2006). A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Bali. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida.
Ren, Z., Zhu, B., Ma, E., Wen, J., Tu, T., Cao, Y., Hasegawa, M., and Zhong, Y. (2009). ''Complete nucleotide sequence and gene arrangement of the mitochondrial genome of the crab-eating frog Fejervarya cancrivora and evolutionary implications .'' Gene, 441, 148-155.
Seki, T., Kikuyama, S., and Yanaihara, N. (1995). ''Morphology of the skin glands of the Crab-eating Frog (Rana cancrivora).'' Zoological Science, 12(5), 623-626.
Zhigang, Y., Zhao, E., Haitao, S., Diesmos, A., Alcala, A., Brown, R., Afuang, L., Gee, G., Sukumaran, J., Yaakob, N., Ming, L. T., Chuaynkern, Y., Thirakhupt, K., Das, I., Iskandar, D., Mumpuni, and Inger, R. (2009). Fejervarya cancrivora. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 11 November 2011.
Written by Christine Lu (karomi AT berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2010-10-25
Edited by Kellie Whittaker, Mingna (Vicky) Zhuang (2012-04-05)
Feedback or comments about this page.
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.