English name: Inornate Froglet (aka “Inornate Chorus Frog”, “False Ornate Narrowmouth Frog”)
Scientific name: Micryletta inornata (formerly Microhyla inornata)
Thai name: Ung-lang chut, Ung-lang khee
Description: Up to 3.1cm long. A small flat frog with a small head and narrow rounded nose. Legs are slender. Light brown, orangish-brown, or olive-brown on top with black markings. A black stripe usually runs through the eye and down the side of the body. Underside is creamy white. These frogs can often be recognized by their frantic, “flea-like” hopping behavior when exposed from cover.
Tadpoles reach 1.9cm long and have a flattened oval body. Like other narrowmouth frog tadpoles, their eyes are on the side of the head and the mouth protrudes from the front. Tail ends in long filament. Their coloration is dark brown.
Call: A high-pitched cricket-like call.
Similar Species: Darkside Narrowmouth Frog has a black marking on its side that does not go through the eye, and lacks the black markings on the back..
Mukhlesur’s Narrowmouth Frog has a dark brown marking on the back rather than the smaller black markings of the Inornate Froglet.
Asian Painted Frog is larger and heavier with broad cream stripes and lacks black markings.
Habitat: Found in forest edges, scrub, parks, and empty lots. Is less common in residential areas than other narrowmouth frogs. Hides below rocks, logs, and boards during the day. Breeds in rain puddles.
Place in the ecosystem: Eats insects. May be eaten by birds, snakes, lizards, larger frogs, and even large insects and arachnids.
Danger to humans: No danger to humans.
Conservation status and threats: Because of its wide range, large population, and ability to utilize human-disturbed habitat, it has no conservation threats at this time.
Interesting facts: The Inornate Froglet is often referred to as an “explosive-breeding” species. This is because the frogs wait until conditions are right and then breed together. After heavy rains create rain puddles in their habitat, Inornate Froglets will surround the puddles in large numbers and all breed at once, laying their eggs in the new rainpools. Their tadpoles hatch early and develop rapidly, allowing them to take advantage of the rain puddles before they dry out.
This species has been split recently, with new species being described from Northeast India and from Vietnam. Recent papers suggest that specimens in Thailand are genetically different from others, so it is likely the populations in Thailand will also receive a new name in the near future.
Online Field Guide: Micryletta inornata
The IUCN Red List: Micryletta inornata
A new species of Micryletta frog from Northeast India
Travellers’ Wildlife Guides: Thailand
A Field Guide to the Amphibians of Cambodia