Weekly Series
Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

26 July 2020 | Small Unknown Frog/Toad | Black Forest Grasshopper |

photo photo This was a continuous series of my recent walks in the park in the recent 2 months. The next unusual find was a small unknown frog or toad. It was accidentally discovered when I was squatting down to examine the black flatworms mentioned in my last post. While doing so, I sensed that something jumped off the ground next to me. I thought it was just another Black Forest Grasshopper (Traulia azureipennis) that was abundance among leaf litters in this park. It was so common that I even found one of them moulting under a polypore mushroom in one of the trips in the park.

After discovering the small toad, I only manage to take 2 pictures before it jumped off and could no longer be found. In subsequent trips to the park, I started to pay more attention to jumping creatures on the ground and did find more of them. Some were as tiny as the size of the large black ant (Odontoponera denticulata) that reside in that park. I figured this out when I saw an ant dragging a dead frog back to its underground nest. The length of these ants was about 9 to 12 millimetres.

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Frogs and toads are classified under the order Anura. According to the Singapore amphibians checklist published in 1991 [1], there were 22 species of frogs recorded back then. Fast forward to July 2020, there were 30 species listed by NParks and the same number of species were displayed in the Biodiversity of Singapore website though I did not find any picture in there that match the frog that I saw. Then, I took the search to the Ecology Asia website. Again, there was no match. The mystery of its identity remained unsolved.


[1] Lim KKP, Yang CM. An annotated checklist of the amphibians of Singapore with emphasis on materials in the Zoological Reference Collection. Raffles Bull Zoo 1991;39(1):215-233. | Read article |

Update: 22 July 2022

The length of a worker ant of Odontoponera denticulata is about 9 to 12 millimetre. Hence, the toadlet mentioned above should be around this length. There was a local publication in 2009 that described a toadlet (Pelophryne signata) with length of around 15 millimetre found in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. But, the picture in the publication did not resemble the one that I saw. On 20 July 2022, I came across another of this toadlet at the same park (pictures below).

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