This species is widespread in Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and other small islands), central, northern and northeastern China, it is found throughout both the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, present in northern Mongolia and the southern Russian Far East.
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits mixed and deciduous broadleaved forests, forest steppes, bush lands, meadows, swamps, paddy fields, ponds, and the surrounding vegetation. It is often found along the banks of rivers, streams, and lakes. Spawning and larval development takes place in stagnant ponds, puddles, oxbow lakes, flooded quarries, and lakes with dense herbaceous vegetation. The eggs are sometimes deposited in river and stream pools. The species tolerates some degree of habitat modification, and may even be found in large cities.
This species is common throughout and is only rare and sporadically distributed in the area of Lake Baikal and Mongolia.
The threats to this species are not well known, but are presumed to include general habitat loss, (often from changes in land use such as conversion of paddy fields to vegetable farming), pollution and prolonged drought in arid areas.
The range of this species overlaps with many protected areas. It is listed in the Red Data Books of Buryatia and the Evreiskaya Autonomous Province of Russia.
Hyla japonica is a member of the Hyla arborea complex. A number of authors consider H. japonica to be a subspecies of H. arborea, but biochemical and morphological differences between these two forms confirm the specific rank of H. japonica. Fei (1999) considered H. ussuriensis from northern China, the Korean Peninsula, eastern Russia and Mongolia to be a separate species from H. japonica on Japan. Here we consider H. ussuriensis to be a synonym of H. japonica pending further taxonomic work on this complex.
Sergius Kuzmin, Irina Maslova, Masafumi Matsui, Fei Liang, Yoshio Kaneko 2004. Hyla japonica. In: IUCN 2014