Diagnosis: Rhacophorus norhayatii can be distinguished from its congeners by the following combination of characters: more darkly pigmented interdigital webbing (black, with blue spots and streaks, in R. norhayatii), rusty brown coloration on the flanks, uniform green dorsum without any spots or markings, having 1.5 phalanges on the first finger free of webbing, maximum male SVL of 64.7 mm and maximum female SVL of 83 mm (Chan and Grismer 2010).
Description: A medium to large arboreal treefrog with dermal appendages and fully webbed hands and feet. Adult male Rhacophorus norhayatii SVL can measure up to 64.7 mm while females can reach up to 83 mm (Chan and Grismer 2010). The head is somewhat flattened with a pointed snout; head length and width are about equal. Nostrils are closer to the snout tip than the eye and do not protrude. Eyes are large and protuberant. The subcircular tympanum is distinct and its diameter is about three-fourths that of the horizontal diameter of the eye. The tongue is attached at the anterior. Vomerine teeth are present in two series between the oval choanae. Males have a single median vocal sac with paired vocal slits (Chan and Grismer 2010).
Hands are longer than the short forearms and are fully webbed. Relative finger size (in order of increasing length) is I < II < IV < III. Fingers have large, wide discs with circummarginal and transverse ventral grooves, with the third finger disc just slightly less wide than the tympanum; relative finger disc widths are I
The dorsal skin is smooth while the flanks are wrinkled. Ventral surfaces of the chin, chest, belly, and thighs are granular. No dorsolateral fold is present. Dermal fringe is present along the outer edge of the forearm. Dermal fringe is also present on the foot, extending from the tip of toe V along the tarsus to the heel, which bears a slightly pointed flap. Anal flap is bilobate (Chan and Grismer 2010).
In the adult frog, dorsal surfaces are bright uniform green. Ventral surfaces are white with a network of black patches and small blue spots on the chin and vocal sac areas, as well as black marbling and mottling of small blue spots on the chest, belly and the underside of the thighs. Inner thighs, inner tibia, and inner tarsus are black with a mottling of blue spots. Ventral surfaces of arms and tibia are black. Flanks have rusty brown markings that are overlain with black marbling, blue spots and fine blue lines. Both the webbing and the dorsal surfaces of fingers and toes are black, marked with blue and green spots and streaks, except for finger IV and the distal 50% of toe IV. Finger and toe discs are dull green (Chan and Grismer 2010).
In preservative, dorsal surfaces are lavender. Blue pigments become gray. Black colors remain the same. Rusty brown coloration on the flanks remains the same (Chan and Grismer 2010).
Vs. R. reinwardtii:
-R. norhayatii has larger adult males (64.7 mm maximum male SVL in R. norhayatii, vs. 55 mm in R. reinwardtii);
-dorsal coloration in life is uniform bright green in R. norhayatii, vs. green dorsum with small dark spots in Javanese R. reinwardtii and green dorsum with small dark spots plus faint white spots in Bornean R. reinwardtii;
-webbing coloration in R. norhayatii is black with blue spots and streaks; in R. reinwardtii, webbing between Fingers I and II and Toes I and II is yellow to orange, and generally lacks black pigmentation (minute amounts of black may be present at the base of the webbing); where dark interdigital webbing is present, in R. reinwardtii it is black with blue veins rather than spots or streaks;
-darker and more extensive hand and foot coloration in R. norhayatii, covering the dorsal surfaces of Fingers I-III and Toes I-IV, vs. only partial coverage of Fingers I-III and Toes I-IV in R. reinwardtii);
-in life, inner thighs and inner brachia are black, mottled with blue spots, in R. norhayatii vs. bright yellow or orange in R. reinwardtii;
-in life, flanks are rusty brown with black marbling partly edged with blue dots and fine blue lines in R. norhayatii vs. flanks bright orange or yellow with a black axillary spot plus blue and black marbling that fades posteriorly in R. reinwardtii;
-in life, ventral surfaces chalky white with black and blue marbling in R. norhayatii vs. ventral surfaces white, yellow, or orange with unmottled chest and chin in R. reinwardtii (belly and underside of thighs may be darkly mottled);
-color in preservative: flanks in R. norhayatii are brown, with strong overlay of black; flanks in R. reinwardtii are dull white or light brown with a few black patches and white, glandular spots; ventral surfaces of R. norhayatii are chalky white with distinct black marbling, vs. ventral surfaces of R. reinwardtii dull white, with or without dark mottling on belly and thighs.
Vs. R. nigropalmatus:
-R. norhayatii has a smaller maximum adult size (maximum male SVL 64.7 mm in R. norhayatii vs. 89 mm in R. nigropalmatus; maximum female SVL 83 mm in R. norhayatii vs. 100 mm SVL in R. nigropalmatus);
-first finger partially free of webbing (half of the first finger's penultimate phalanx free of webbing in R. norhayatii vs. first finger fully webbed in R. nigropalmatus);
-in life, uniform green dorsum in R. norhayatii vs. dorsal spotting in R. nigropalmatus;
-in life, interdigital webbing black with blue spots and streaks in R. norhayatii, vs. yellow webbing with black only at the base of the webbing in R. nigropalmatus
-in life, inner brachia and thighs black with blue spots in R. norhayatii vs. inner brachia and thighs uniform yellow in R. nigropalmatus
-in life, flanks rusty brown overlain with black marbling edged partly in blue in R. norhayatii, vs. flanks uniform yellow in R. nigropalmatus
-in life, ventral surfaces chalky white with black marbling and blue mottling on chin, chest, belly, underside of thighs in R. norhayatii, vs. white chin and chest and yellow mottling on belly in R. nigropalmatus
Vs. R. kio:
-smaller adult males (64.7 mm maximum male SVL in R. norhayatii vs. 79.1 mm in R. kio);
-no spine-like heel flap in R. norhayatii vs. spine-like heel flap in R. kio;
-in life, uniform green dorsum in R. norhayatii vs. dorsal spotting in R. kio;
-in life, interdigital webbing black with blue spots and streaks in R. norhayatii, vs. yellow webbing with black only at the base of the webbing in R. kio;
-black pigmentation between Finger I and II webbing and Toe I and II webbing: strong in R. norhayatii, not present in R. kio;
-in life, inner surfaces of brachia and thighs black with sky blue spots in R. norhayatii vs. black patch on axilla and inner thighs yellow in R. kio;
-in life, flanks rusty brown overlain with black marbling edged partly in blue in R. norhayatii, vs. flanks yellow with black axillary patch in R. kio;
-in life, ventral surfaces chalky white with black marbling and blue mottling on chin, chest, belly, underside of thighs in R. norhayatii, vs. lemon yellow in R. kio.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand
Malaysian region distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Peninsular Malaysia
This species occurs in northwest and extreme southern Thailand (Chan-ard 2003; Dring 1979), as well as in Peninsular Malaysia, in the following localities: Ulu Muda Forest Reserve, Kedah (Norhayati et al. 2005); Cameron Highlands (Berry 1975), Janda Baik (Berry 1975), and Gunung Benom in Pahang (Grandison 1972); Gunung Lawit, Terengganu (Dring 1979); Endau-Rompin National Park, Johor (Wood et al. 2008); Gunung Panti Forest Reserve, Johor (Chan et al. 2010); Gunung Besar Hantu, Negeri Sembilan (Chan and Grismer 2010), and tentatively Sumatra (Werner 1900). Habitat is generally lowland and hill forest (Chan and Grismer 2010). Usually found only up to 550 m asl, but Berry (1975) located this species at 1,500 m asl in Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, Pahang.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
R. norhayatii has been found on low vegetation, in trees up to 7 m above the forest floor near temporary pools and puddles, and in water-filled tire tracks on logging roads (Chan and Grismer 2010). The call has been described as rattling and woodpecker-like (Chan and Grismer 2010), with a sonogram published in Dring (1979). Other rhacophorid frogs reported to occur in sympatry include R. nigropalmatus and R. pardalis (Chan et al. 2010; Dring 1979; Grandison 1972; Norhayati et al. 2005; Wood et al. 2008).
Trends and Threats
Its range overlaps with several protected areas in Peninsular Malaysia (Ulu Muda Forest Reserve, Kedah; Endau-Rompin National Park, Johor; and Gunung Panti Forest Reserve, Johor (Chan and Grismer 2010).
It is not yet clear whether the Sumatran population is R. norhayatii or R. reinwardtii; the type specimen deposited by Werner (1900) is in poor condition, although his description most closely matches R. norhayatii (Chan and Grismer 2010).
The specific epithet norhayatii honors Dr. Norhayati Ahmad of the National University of Malaysia (UKM) (Chan and Grismer 2010).
Berry, P. Y. (1975). The Amphibian Fauna of Peninsular Malaysia. Tropical Press, Kuala Lumpur.
Chan, K. O., Grismer, L. L., Matsui, M., Nishikawa, K., Wood, P. L. Jr., Grismer, J. L., Daicus, B. and Norhayati, A. (2010). ''Herpetofauna of Gunung Panti Forest Reserve, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.'' Tropical Life Sciences Research, 21, 75-86.
Chan, K. O., and Grismer, L. L. (2010). ''Re-assessment of the Reinwardt's Gliding Frog, Rhacophorus reinwardtii (Schlegel 1840) (Anura: Rhacophoridae) in Southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia and its re-description as a new species.'' Zootaxa, 2505(40-50).
Chan-ard, T. (2003). A Photographic Guide to Amphibians in Thailand. Krangkrai Swannapak, Bangkok.
Dring, J. C. M. (1979). ''Amphibians and reptiles from northern Trengganu, Malaysia, with descriptions of two new geckos, Cnemaspis and Cyrtodactylus.'' Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), 34(5), 181-240.
Grandison, A. C. G. (1972). ''The Gunung Benom Expedition 1967: 5. Reptiles and amphibians of Gunong Benom with a description of a new species of Macrocalamus.'' Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History (Zoology), 23, 45-101.
Werner, F. (1900). ''Reptilien und Batrachier aus Sumatra, gesammelt von Herrn Gustav Schnerder jr. im Jahre 1897-98. Zoologische Jahrbücher.'' Abteilung für Systematik, Geographie, und Biologie der Thiere, 13, 479-508.
Wood, P. L. Jr., Grismer, L. L., Youmans, T. M., Nurolhuda, B. N., Norhayati, A., and Juliana, S. (2008). ''Additions to the herpetofauna of Endau-Rompin, Johor, West Malaysia.'' Herpetological Review, 39, 112-121.
Originally submitted by: Deborah Lee (first posted 2010-06-22)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2010-07-12)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Rhacophorus norhayatii: Norhayati's Gliding Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/7508> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 28, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 28 Mar 2023.
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