Rhacophorus nigropalmatus

Geographic Range

Malaysia and Borneo


Wallace's flying frog inhabits tropical moist forests.

Physical Description

Wallace's flying frog is a relatively small organism (15 - 20 mm) that possesses a distinct large eye. A tympanum membrane is located posterior to the eye. This anatomical feature serves as an eardrum to Rhacophorids as well as to other species of Anurans (Cogger and Zweifel, 1998). The color of the body is a shiny green with lighter yellow on the lateral sides as well as on the toe pads and snout. Wallace's flying frog is an arboreal amphibian that has a terminal segment of each finger and toe which is expanded into specialized toepads that allow these treefrogs to adhere to vertical surfaces. In addition to toepads flying frogs have huge, fully webbed hands and feet, also skin along the side of the body. These provide an increase in surface area so that when the limbs, fingers and toes are extended apart they allow the frogs to glide from high perches (Pakcenter 1999). The hindlimbs are relatively larger then the forelimbs and provide thrust upon jumping.



Before mating, the female produces a fluid that she beats into a foam with her hind legs. She then lays her eggs in this bubble nest, at the same time the male fertilizes the eggs with his sperm. The egg nest is then hung over a source of water. When the embryos inside the eggs have developed into tadpoles, the nest falls apart. The young fall into the water and begin life as tadpoles. It is important that the tadpoles don't drop onto dry surface, if so the tadpoles will simply dry out and die (Pakcenter 1999).

  • Key Reproductive Features
  • gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)


Wallace's flying frog spends its time in the trees where it can glide in the air due to the adaptations of its extremely webbed feet and skin folds along side of the body.

The webbing of the feet and skin folds helps catch the air like a small sail thus giving the ability to glide. This species has the ability to glide up to 50 ft. Wallace's flying frog

makes a long, low final approach to the ground in order to slow down and make a smooth landing. Special bones help the frog snugly press the tiny suction pads on feet and toes against the surface of a tree, giving it a firm grip for landing.

Food Habits

The flying frog has a diet that consists of insects, and other small invertebrates (Wallace's 1999).

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Status Unknown

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Status Unknown

Conservation Status


Don Abbey (author), Michigan State University, James Harding (editor), Michigan State University.


bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.


animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.


A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.

World Map


rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.


"Wallace's Flying Frog" (On-line). Accessed (Date Unknown) at http://www.wildlifephoto.com/02catalog97/064frogx.html.

Cogger, , Zweifel. 1998. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. Academic Press.

Pakcenter, *. 1999. "Wallace's Flying Frog" (On-line). Accessed November 12, 1999 at http://pakcenter.com/reading/education/zoo/amphibians/amp7.html.