Rhacophorus exechopygus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Rhacophoridae

Scientific Name: Rhacophorus exechopygus Inger, Orlov & Darevsky, 1999
Common Name(s):
English Spinybottom Tree Frog
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2015. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-04-06
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Rowley, J.L. & Cutajar, T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Rowley, J.L., Cutajar, T.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and presumed large population.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is currently known only from 510–1,250 m Asl in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam, between Quang Binh and Gia Lai Provinces, and in the Annamite Mountains of southern Lao PDR (Inger et al. 1999, Stuart 1999, Bain and Nguyen 2002, Orlov et al. 2002, Bain et al. 2007, Hendrix et al. 2008, Orlov 2008, Nguyen et al. 2009, J. Rowley unpubl. data). These may not represent the actual limits of the species' range as similar habitat and elevations to those in its known localities occur in adjacent parts of northeastern Cambodia. Further surveys in this area may uncover its presence. This species' extent of occurrence (EOO) is 89,076 km2, which consists of four threat-defined locations.
Countries occurrence:
Lao People's Democratic Republic; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Number of Locations:4
Lower elevation limit (metres):510
Upper elevation limit (metres):1250
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Little is known about the size and trends of this species' population except that it has been detected in a number of surveys (Inger et al. 1999, Stuart 1999, Bain and Nguyen 2002, Orlov et al. 2002, Bain et al. 2007, Hendrix et al. 2008, Orlov 2008, Nguyen et al. 2009, J. Rowley unpubl. data). It has been described as uncommonly encountered in Quang Nam and Kon Tum Provinces (J. Rowley unpubl. data). Deforestation continues to affect habitat in this species' range (Meyfroidt and Lambin 2008, Sodhi et al. 2009, Meyfroidt et al. 2013), and is very likely causing some declines.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is associated with evergreen as well as evergreen mixed with bamboo or deciduous forest, and has mostly been observed adjacent to streams on vegetation up to 3 m above the ground (Inger et al. 1999, Stuart 1999, Bain et al. 2007, Hendrix et al. 2008, J. Rowley unpubl. data). The species has also been observed in forest modified by logging (Inger et al. 1999). In the southern part of the species' range (Gia Lai and Kon Tum Provinces, Viet Nam) reproductive activity has been observed in April and July; males were recorded with nuptial pads, pairs observed in amplexus, and tadpoles detected in large streams (Inger et al. 1999, J. Rowley unpubl. data). This species deposits its eggs in foam nests that are attached to leaves overhanging the water surface (Orlov 2008, J. Rowley unpubl. data); the tadpoles presumably fall into the stream upon hatching, as is the case with many other Rhacophorus species.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is involved in the international pet trade. An online search in December 2015 revealed websites from Europe and the US selling this species for approximately US $45-104 per individual (T. Cutajar pers. obs.).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss and degradation due to rapidly expanding agriculture is an ongoing threat to biodiversity throughout Lao PDR and Viet Nam (Sodhi et al. 2009). In the Central Highlands of Viet Nam where the species has been most frequently encountered, large areas of forest are converted to agricultural land to grow cash crop plantations (e.g. rubber, coffee and tea) (Meyfroidt and Lambin 2008, Meyfroidt et al. 2013). Additionally, logging has been recorded in some riparian forest at Tram Lap, Gia Lai Province (the species' type locality) (Inger et al. 1999), thus eliminating sections of its breeding habitat. The species is very likely threatened to some degree by habitat loss. It is possibly also threatened by collection from the wild for the international pet trade, as is the case for similarly attractive frog species from the region (Rowley et al. 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
This species is known from a number of protected areas including Ke Bang National Park (Hendrix et al. 2008), and both Ngoc Linh and Song Thanh Nature Reserves (Bain et al. 2007, J. Rowley unpubl. data). A number of other protected areas are included in parts of this species' predicted range; it very likely occurs in many of these also. 

Research Needed
In order to ensure the species' long-term survival, the lack of data must be addressed; research should be carried out to determine its true distribution, relative abundance, life history, rates of harvest, and threats.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2017. Rhacophorus exechopygus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T58993A113960074. . Downloaded on 23 September 2017.
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