Asian Grass Frog
Fejervarya limnocharis (Gravenhorst, 1829)

Family: Dicroglossidae - Fork-tongued Frogs

Order: Anura - Frogs

Class: Amphibia

Phylum: Chordata - Vertebrates

Kingdom: Animalia

Red List status: Least Concern

Asian grass frog, Kep National Park, Cambodia

                        Male            Female

Adult length:  32-50 mm    49-58 mm

Tadpole length: 45 mm


Indonesia, Indochina and the Malay Peninsula. Genetically distinct but morphologically identical species occur outside this range from India to Japan.

Other common names: Indian rice frog, Indian cricket frog, common pond frog, field frog, marsh frog




Adult: Relatively small, slender oval frog with robust limbs, a narrow head, pointed snout and visible tympanum with black colouration in the upper half. Fingers and toes are pointed, with blunt finger tips; and toes are less than half-webbed. A series of broken ridges run down the length of the dorsum, though patterning and colour are both highly variable. Ground colour is grey to brown; dark patterning is typically characterised by a 'U' or 'W' shape across the shoulders, with similar markings generally banding the dorsum. A pale stripe may be present down the midline of the back from the snout to the anus. Atypically, there may be small patches or markings of bright green dorsally.

The ventral surface is white, with a black 'W' marking at the throat in males. The lower lip is barred with two or three brown bands. There are two rows of vomerine teeth behind the choanae. There are two vocal sacs beneath the throat.


Call: A rapidly repeated, "raspy chirp" (Inger & Steubing, 2005)


Tadpole: Oval tadpole with a tail twice the length of the body. The body is olive green speckled black dorsally and on the sides, and white below. The end of the tail is barred black or wholly black..

An unusual green-spotted form from northern Thailand

Throat details of a male Asian grass frog.

Striped form from the same Cambodian population

Dorsal view of Asian grass frog

Similar species: This widespread and highly variable frog can only be distinguished with certainty from similar, often undescribed species through genetic analysis or features of its distribution. It is thought, however, that several species within this complex may be sympatric in Java, and possibly in much of Southeast Asia (Toda et al, 1998). Such species can only be distinguished genetically. In addition, F. limnocharis is morphologically similar to the mangrove frog (F. cancrivora), but can be distinguished by the presence of a small outer metatarsal tubercle on the hind foot in F. limnocharis.





A cosmopolitan species that can be found in most wet, open habitats around waterways or standing water, often around ditches, puddles or temporary pools. These frogs appear to exhibit a preference for anthropogenic habitats.


Elevation: 0 - 2 000 m





Reproductive behaviour: Males typically aggregate around standing water in large groups following heavy rain, typically breeding in paddy fields or temporary pools.


Diet: The adult diet includes insects, millipedes and occasionally snails.





Global Amphibian Assessment
Berry, P. Y. (1975) The Amphibian Fauna of Peninsular Malaysia, Tropical Press, Kuala Lumpur, .Malaysia.
Inger, R. F. and Stuebing, R. B. (2005) A Field Guide to the Frogs of Borneo. Second Edition.  Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu: 201pp

Thy, N. and Holden, J. (2008) A Field Guide to the Amphibians of Cambodia Fauna & Flora International, Phnom Penh: 127pp

Toda, M., Matsui, M., Nishida, M. and Ota, H. (1998) Genetic divergence among Southeast and East Asian populations of Rana limnocharis (Amphibia: Anura), with special reference to sympatric cryptic species in Java. Zoological Science 15: 607-613

Van Dijk, P.P., Iskandar, D., Inger, R., Lau, M.W.N., Zhao, E., Baorong, G., Dutta, S., Manamendra-Arachchi, K., de Silva, A., Bordoloi, S., Kaneko, Y., Matsui, M. and Khan, M.S. (2004). Fejervarya limnocharis. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Dr. Bryan Stuart, Chicago Field Museum,
personal communication

            Range            Description            Habitat            Behaviour            References

Fejervarya limnocharis male calling. Kep National Park, Cambodia. Note the dual vocal sacs beneath the throat.