This species is widespread from central, southern and south-western China including Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau to Myanmar through Thailand, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Viet Nam and Cambodia south to the Thai-Malay peninsula. Records from further south are attributed here to Limnonectes cancrivora and L. raja. It was introduced and established in Sabah, Borneo in the 1980's (Inger and Tan, 1996). It has also recently been introduced to the Philippines and so far is known from central Luzon and from Puerto Princesa City on Palawan. It occurs up to 700m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It lives in paddy fields, irrigation infrastructure, fishponds, ditches, floodplain wetlands, forest pools, and other wet areas. The tadpoles live in pools and ponds. The adults are effective predators on other species of frogs and its larvae prey on tadpoles of other species.
It is common in appropriate habitat, although the numbers of large animals might be depressed by local exploitation. Captive-bred tadpoles are released by rural people and the Fisheries Department in Thailand and probably elsewhere.
It has probably taken advantage of the conversion of lowland forest to wet rice culture, and has managed to thrive in these conditions, despite exploitation. Agricultural change, pollution, hydrological changes, and competition from exotic bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) represent a potential threat, but the species is unlikely to be seriously impacted throughout most of its range soon.
The range of this species includes many protected areas. This is a Class II state major protected animal in Mainland China and also a Class II protected species in Taiwan, Province of China. Management of the exploitation of wild populations might be needed in certain localities.
Arvin Diesmos, Peter Paul van Dijk, Robert Inger, Djoko Iskandar, Michael Wai Neng Lau, Zhao Ermi, Lu Shunqing, Geng Baorong, Lue Kuangyang, Yuan Zhigang, Gu Huiqing, Shi Haitao, Chou Wenhao 2004. Hoplobatrachus rugulosus. In: IUCN 2014