The most noteable feature of Wallace’s flying frog is the feet which have large bits of webbing between the toes and large toe pads to provide a strong grip when they grab a tree after a leap. This webbing is colored black.
Across their body they have green skin with white spots. On the underside of the head and parts of the body they are white. The flanks, inside of their thigh and the underside of their body is yellow. The head is flat with large eyes which are incredibly prominent on the head. They are colored blue with a horizontal black pupil within it.
The coloration blends in with the trees which they call home.
Their hindlegs are longer than the frontlegs to provide them thrust when they push off in to a glide.
Males are typically smaller than females. The male also has pads on his thumbs which they will use to grasp the female during mating. They measure 7-10cm (2.25-4in) long.
Wallace’s flying frog is a carnivore. They feed on a range of invertebrates and small vertebrates.
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Asia is the native home of the Wallace’s flying frog. Here they can be found in the following countries – Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. They may also occur in Myanmar.
It is believed that their range is significantly larger than currently recorded but further study is needed to prove this.
They make their home primarily in evergreen forests but can also be found in shifting cultivation. They can be found in vegetation near shallow pools during the breeding season.
Mating occurs during the breeding season. This is one of the only times they will come to the ground.
The female will produce a fluid which is turned in to a foam and lays her eggs in to this bubble nest. This is attached to the underside of foliage. The male will fertilize the eggs here. Each nest may include up to 800 eggs.
Once the eggs hatch the nest will fall apart allowing the tadpoles to fall in to the water.
The tadpoles will remain in the water until they metamorphose and take on the adult form.
Once they metamorphose they have brown granular skin which helps to blend in with the ground where they will spend most of their time.
They are best known for their ability to glide between two trees which gives them the flying frog name. They cannot fly but will jump between two trees by stretching out the webbing between their toes which creates a parachute.
With this ability they are almost entirely arboreal with no need to come to the ground. This allows them to escape a number of their predators.
Predators and Threats
Natural predators of Wallace’s flying frogs include snakes.
Humans present a threat to them through deforestation and collection in small amounts for the pet trade.
The frog is named for its discover the English naturalist A.R. Wallace.
When gliding the Wallace’s flying frog can travel up to 15.2m (50ft) in a single jump.
Top and Middle
Rushenb, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
By Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE – Wallace's Flying Frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45511090
Burnie, D., 2011. Animal. 3rd ed. London: DK
Ambrose, J., 2015. Wildlife Of The World. 1st ed. London: Dorling Kindersley, p.
Abbey, D. 2000. "Rhacophorus nigropalmatus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed November 26, 2020 at https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Rhacophorus_nigropalmatus/
Ecologyasia.com. 2020. Wallace's Flying Frog – Rhacophorus Nigropalmatus. [online] Available at: <https://www.ecologyasia.com/verts/amphibians/wallace's_flying_frog.htm> [Accessed 27 November 2020].
AmphibiaWeb 2003 Rhacophorus nigropalmatus: Wallace's Flying Frog <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/4524> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Nov 26, 2020.
Egen.fortwayne.com. 2020. [online] Available at: <http://egen.fortwayne.com/ns/projects/zoo/frog/index.php> [Accessed 27 November 2020].