The Günther's frog
Writer: Isaac Cohen | Editor: Zhang Chanwen | From: Shenzhen Daily
A Günther’s frog is seen in Baguang, a coastal area in east Shenzhen. Photos by Isaac Cohen
The Günther's frog
The Günther’s frog (Sylvirana guentheri) is an intriguing frog species found in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and southern China, including our illustrious city of Shenzhen.
This amphibian belongs to the Ranidae family, also known as the true frogs. It has a medium-sized body, measuring approximately 8 centimeters in length. The dorsal surface of this frog exhibits a light brown coloration, highlighted by a distinct folding on each side of its upper body. These foldings feature a darker brown color with prominent dark spots. While the lower parts of its body tend to be lighter in color, ranging from white to various shades, there can be considerable variations. One notable feature is its large tympanic membrane with a white margin, making it easily distinguishable from other frogs found in Shenzhen.
A Günther’s frog is seen in Bijia Hill Park in Futian District.
The primary habitat of the Günther’s Frog consists of forested areas, including both lowland and upland forests. However, it has also adapted to survive in agricultural areas and even some city parks, such as Bijia Mountain and Honghu Park.
Being a carnivorous species, this fantastic frog sustains itself by consuming a variety of invertebrates, including insects, spiders, and snails. Additionally, it has been observed to prey upon small vertebrates like tadpoles and other frogs.
A Günther’s frog is seen among leaf litter in Lianhua Hill Park in Futian District.
Reproduction takes place in streams and other water bodies. The male attracts a mate by producing a series of calls, while the female lays her eggs in a gelatinous mass attached to vegetation or rocks within the water. These eggs eventually hatch into tadpoles, which undergo metamorphosis and develop into juvenile frogs within a few months.
The Günther’s Frog plays a vital role in the ecosystem as a predator of invertebrates and small vertebrates. Moreover, it holds significance as an indicator species. The presence of these frogs serves as a reliable indicator of a clean and thriving ecosystem in our city.