Sabah Earless Toad

Sabahphrynus cld1800794 Chien Lee small


As the name denotes, this species is known from Sabah. It is earless. It lacks a tympanum, tympanic annulus, columella, and eustachian tube. The coloration is very reminiscent of Ansonia latidisca, but genetic analyses do not suggest a close relationship of the two toads. 

The head is without bony crests; parotoid glands are absent. The tips of the outer fingers are expanded into spatulate discs. The subarticular tubercles are present, but weak. The toe webbing is moderately developed. The males do not have vocal sac opening or mandibular spines. These toads are good jumpers. 

Many egges have been found in females, eggs are small and unpigmented. The tadpole has been described as possessing expanded mouthparts and an abdominal sucker, and the absence of upper jaw sheath. However, tadpoles have rarely been found and those early accounts remain unverified by DNA fingerprinting techniques.

These toads have not often been encountered in their habitats. The photo presented here is kindly provided by ©Chien Lee ( The specimen was found at Mt. Kinabalu at 1.041 m a.s.l. It perched 1.5 m above ground on vegetation, 100-200 away from the nearest river.




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