Polypedates cf. leucomystax (Gravenhorst, 1829)

Kaiser, Hinrich, Carvalho, Venancio Lopes, Ceballos, Jester, Freed, Paul, Heacox, Scott, Lester, Barbara, Richards, Stephen J., Trainor, Colin R., Sanchez, Caitlin & O'Shea, Mark, 2011, The herpetofauna of Timor-Leste: a first report, ZooKeys 109, pp. 19-86 : 31-32

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Polypedates cf. leucomystax (Gravenhorst, 1829)


Polypedates cf. leucomystax (Gravenhorst, 1829) Fig. 7 View Figure 7

Common names.

(E) Striped Treefrog, Four-lined Treefrog, Golden Treefrog. (T) Manduku ai-riskadu (manduku = frog, ai = tree, riskadu = striped) or manduku loron (manduku = frog, loron = sunlight). (Fataluku) Nelu cila. The common names in Tetun and Fataluku are generalized name for treefrogs and may be applied to other such species without detailed distinction.


This species is a relatively slender treefrog with a variety of dorsal patterns ( Fig. 7 View Figure 7 ). The background coloration is usually a light brown during the nightly activity period but becomes a deeper brown while individuals are resting in their diurnal refuges. Patterning may consist of darker lines or bands, brown blotches, crossbars on limbs, or there may be no pronounced pattern. In comparison with the two other potential tree-dwellers encountered, Limnonectes timorensis and Litoria everetti , Polypedates cf. leucomystax is more slightly built, has a pointed snout, lacks raised warts or tubercles on the back, and has no webbing between the fingers.

Collection and natural history.

These frogs were quite commonly found, calling from the edges of ponds (e.g., 6.0 km W Loré 1 village, Lautém District), from small shrubs and bushes (e.g., 5 km S Malahara, Lautém District), from the trunks of fallen trees, and from boulders in the middle of streambeds (e.g., near Timor Village Hotel, Wailakurini, Viqueque District), at altitudes from near sea level to 1350 m at Maubisse, Ainaro District.

Taxonomic comment.

Our experience with the geographically widespread rhacophorid usually identified as Polypedates leucomystax , with a range extending from Borneo to Peninsular Malaysia, and from India to Cambodia, is that it is a taxon in need of closer investigation. On a recent trip we observed the species in Sabah, Borneo, and shortly thereafter in Timor-Leste. Based on vocalizations, behavior, maximum size, and color and pattern variation, we cannot confidently assign our specimens to Polypedates leucomystax and instead refer to them as Polypedates cf. leucomystax . The widespread morphotypes collectively known as Polypedates leucomystax are likely an assembly of similar rhacophorid species that occupy a treefrog niche in geographically distinct locations, as others have suggested (e.g., Narins et al. 1998). The taxonomic conundrum presented by Polypedates leucomystax is currently the subject of both molecular and morphological study (e.g., Brown et al. 2010), but a resolution has so far been elusive.