Microhyla mukhlesuri

Ornate Narrowmouth Frog MIcrohyla fissipes
Mukhlesur’s Narrowmouth Frog at night in Chiang Rai Province
Ornate Chorus Frog Microhyla fissipes
Mukhlesur’s Narrowmouth Frog in Laos
Ornate Narrowmouth Frog Microhyla fissipes
Mukhlesur’s Narrowmouth Frog in Chatuchak
Ornate Chorus Frog Microhyla ornata
Mukhlesur’s Narrowmouth Frog in Phayao Province
Ornate Narrowmouth Frog Microhyla fissipes
Mukhlesur’s Narrowmouth Frog in wet vegetation in Sukhothai Province
Ornate Chorus Frog Microhyla fissipes
Mukhlesur’s Narrowmouth Frog near light in Chiang Rai Province
Ornate Narrowmouth Frog Microhyla ornata
Mukhlesur’s Narrowmouth Frog meets Common Indian Toad in Bangkapi
Ornate Chorus Frog Microhyla fissipes
Mukhlesur’s Narrowmouth Frog calling near fishpond in Chiang Mai Province
Microhyla fissipes Kanchanaburi Mourits Horst Lovholt
Mukhlesur’s Narrowmouth Frogs mating in Kanchanaburi (photo by Mourits Horst Løvholt)
Ornate Chorus Frog Microhyla fissipes
Recently transformed Mukhlesur’s Narrowmouth Frog in Chiang Rai Province

English name: Mukhlesur’s Narrowmouth Frog (formerly “Ornate Narrowmouth Frog” or “Ornate Chorus Frog”)
Scientific name: Microhyla mukhlesuri (formerly included in Microhyla ornata and then Microhyla fissipes)
Thai name: Ung-nam tao, Khiad nam ta

Description: Up to 3cm long. A small, squat frog with a pointed nose that gives the entire body a triangular shape. Light brown, reddish-brown, or gray on top with an “ornate” dark marking on the back. The color and shape of the marking can be highly variable. Some individuals have a series of thin lines outside the markings that mirror it. Often has a light stripe on the side from the eye to the leg. Underside is creamy white.

Tadpoles are nearly transparent with a “guitar” shape and a protruding mouth.

Call: Its call is quite loud for its size, a series of short staccato sounds in a row that are reminiscent of an insect.

Similar Species: Inornate Froglet is flatter, has distinct black markings, and will hop around like a flea when exposed.
Darkside Narrowmouth Frog has dark sides and lacks the marking on the back.
Asian Painted Frog is larger and heavier with a broader snout.

Habitat: Found in a large variety of moist habitats, including forest, grassland, wetland, rice fields, parks, empty lots, and gardens. Hides under cover during the day, coming out at night or during rain. Breeds in rain puddles, ponds, and other shallow bodies of still water. In my experience it is often found in areas with temporary water sources, while its close relative the Darkside Narrowmouth Frog is more often found in areas with permanent water sources.

Place in the ecosystem: Eats ants and other small insects. 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 large population and ability to utilize a range of habitats (including those affected by humans), it has no conservation threats at this time.

Interesting facts: This species, Microhyla mukhlesuri, was formerly thought to be part of another species, Microhyla ornata, that was found across Asia. In 2005 scientists studying the genetics of the frogs determined that they were two separate species, with Microhyla fissipes being found in China and Southeast Asia, and Microhyla ornata being found in South Asia. From 2011 to 2016 each of those species was split several more times, with a 2014 paper naming a new species, Microhyla mukhlesuri, in southeast Bangladesh. More study found that Microhyla fissipes was in fact limited to the Chinese populations, and Microhyla mukhlesuri is the species that spreads across southeast Asia from southeast Bangladesh through Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam to Malaysian and Singapore.

References:
Systematic revision of Microhyla frogs of South Asia: a molecular, morphological, and acoustic assessment
Amphibian Species of the World: Microhyla mukhlesuri
The IUCN Red List: Microhyla fissipes
Description of two new species of Microhyla from Bangladesh
Taxonomic relationships within the pan-oriental narrow-mouth toad Microhyla ornata
Hong Kong Amphibians and Reptiles (2nd Edition)