Leptophryne borbonica is a small toad with a slender body, long legs, and wrinkled skin. Females of this species are typically larger (25-40 mm SVL) than the males (20-30 mm SVL). The snout is short and tapered and projects slightly over the lower jaw. There is no distinct parotoid gland. A slight ridge runs dorsolaterally. Fingers and toes are rounded and blunt. The genus Leptophryne is characterized by a large and oval-shaped first subarticular tubercle on each toe. Toes are webbed at the base; for the third and fifth toes, the webbing does not reach as far as the last subarticular tubercle. True to its common name, it has a black hourglass or X figure on its back. Some members of this species also exhibit a black triangular marking behind the eyes. This toad is grayish brown in color dorsally; its throat and chest are brown, with the belly and ventral surfaces of the legs being gray to yellowish (Iskandar, 1998; Inger and Stuebing, 2005).
The tadpoles are completely black. The lower lips and the sides of the upper lips have papillae. The denticle formula is 2-2/III (Iskandar, 1998).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand
Malaysian region distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak
This species is generally found in the leaf litter of seepage areas in forests below 400 m in elevation, in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Sumatra, and Borneo (Inger and Stuebing, 2005); it also occurs in marshy, wet areas and in clear, slowly-moving waters (Iskandar, 1998).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Females of this species typically lay 200-300 small black eggs in a single cluster. Each egg measures about 1.3 mm (Iskandar, 1998).
Trends and Threats
Leptophryne borbonica is threatened by deforestation.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Disturbance or death from vehicular traffic
This species is toxic. Skin extracts had an unpleasant burning taste, and doses
of 100 mg/mouse produced the following effects: locomotor difficulties,
prostration, and recovery after 2 hours (Daly et al., 2004).
Daly, J. W., Noimai, N., Kongkathip, B., Kongkathip, N., Wilham, J. M., Garraffo, H. M., Kaneko, T., Spande, T. F., Ninit, Y., Nabhitabhata, J., and Chan-Ard, T. (2004). ''Biologically active substances from amphibians: preliminary studies on anurans from twenty-one genera of Thailand.'' Toxicon, 44, 805-815.
Inger, R. F. and Stuebing, R. B. (2005). A Field Guide to the Frogs of Borneo, 2nd edition. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu.
Iskandar, D. T. (1998). The Amphibians of Java and Bali. Research and Development Centre for Biology-LIPI, Bogor, Indonesia.
Originally submitted by: Janel Marcelino (first posted 2006-03-10)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2014-10-29)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2014 Leptophryne borbonica: Hourglass Toad <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/338> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 2, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 2 Apr 2023.
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