Sphaerotheca breviceps 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Dicroglossidae

Scientific Name: Sphaerotheca breviceps (Schneider, 1799)
Rana breviceps Schneider, 1799
Sphaerotheca pluvialis (Jerdon, 1854)
Sphaerotheca strachani (Murray, 1884)
Sphaerotheca strigata G√ľnther, 1859
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2013. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.6 (9 January 2013). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: This species was transferred to the genus Sphaerotheca by Dubois 1987. Dubois (1987) considers Sphaerotheca strachani as either incertae sedis within Sphaerotheca or as a synonym of S. breviceps. Here we retain S. strachani and S. pluvialis as synonyms of S. breviceps here until their taxonomic status is fully established. The taxonomy of Sphaerotheca breviceps needs further investigation.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Ohler, A., Khan, M.S., van Dijk, P.P., Wogan, G., Dutta, S., Inger, R.F., Kumar Shrestha, T., Manamendra-Arachchi, K. & de Silva, A.
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N., Chanson, J.S. & Cox, N.A.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is widespread throughout South Asia from Pakistan in the west, through India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, to Chitten Wildlife Sanctuary, Sagaing in central Myanmar (Zug et al. 1998). It possibly also occurs in Bangladesh. It is probably more widely distributed through the Irrawady plains but no specific records are available. It has been reported at elevations from sea level up to 1,500 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
India; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Sri Lanka
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is a generally common species through most of its range. It is locally common at Sagaing Wildlife Sanctuary in Myanmar, but is strongly seasonal (Zug et al. 1998). It is regarded to be common in Sri Lanka outside the central hills.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It has been reported from many habitats including seasonal, deciduous forest, arid plains and scrubland, grassland, areas of human habitation, plantations, and temporary stagnant wetlands in the breeding season (ponds). Adults are often found under ground cover.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss as a result of infrastructure development is the main threat to this frog. It is also threatened by agrochemical pollution and wetland reclamation in Sri Lanka.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is found in several protected areas within its range. There are no conservation measures needed based on the current understanding of its distribution, taxonomy and population status. It is protected by national legislation in India.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: Reformatted names of assessor(s), reviewer(s), contributor(s), facilitator(s) and/or compiler(s). Corrected formatting of references.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
3. Shrubland -> 3.7. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
4. Grassland -> 4.6. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
0. Root -> 16. Introduced vegetation
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.4. Type Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

Bibliography [top]

Biju, S.D. 2001. A synopsis to the frog fauna of the Western Ghats, India. Occasional Publication 1. ISCB: 1-24.

Chanda, S.K. 2002. Handbook - Indian Amphibians. Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata.

Dubois, A. 1983. Note preliminaire sur le groupe de Rana (Tomopterna) breviceps Schneider, 1799 (Amphibien, Anoures) ave diagnose d'une sous-espece nuvelle de Ceylan. Alytes: 163-170.

Dubois, A. 1987. Miscellanea taxonomica batrachologica (I). Alytes 5(1-2): 7-95.

Dutta, S.K. 1997. Amphibians of India and Sri Lanka. Odyssey Publishing House, Bhubaneswar.

Dutta, S.K. and Manamendra-Arachchi, K. 1996. The amphibian fauna of Sri Lanka. Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri Lanka, Colombo.

IUCN. 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2004).

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

Khan, M.S. 1976. An annotated checklist and key to the amphibians of Pakistan. Biologia 22: 201-210.

Pillai, R.S. 1976. On the burrowing habits of Rana breviceps Schneider, with notes on other burrowing frogs from Madras. News. Zool. Surv. India: 226-229.

Schleich, H.H and Anders, C.C. 1998. Tomopterna maskeyi spec. nov. from Nepal (Amphibia, Anura). Contributions to the Herpetology of South Asia, pp. 57-72. Fuhlrott-Museum, Germany.

Vences, M., Glaw, F., Kosuch, J., Das, I. and Veith, M. 2000. Polyphyly of Tomopterna (Amphbia: Ranidae) based on sequences of the Motochondrial 16S and 13S rRNA Genes, and ecological biogeography of Malagasy relict amphibian groups. In: W.R. Lourenco and S.M. Goodman (eds), Diversity and endemism in Madagascar, pp. 229-242. Mem. Soc. Biogeographie, Paris.

Zug, G.R., Win, H., Thin T., Min, T.Z., Lhon, W.Z. and Kyaw, K. 1998. Herpetofauna of the Chatthin W.S., North-central Myanmar with preliminary observations of their natural history. Hamadryad 23(2): 111-120.

Citation: Ohler, A., Khan, M.S., van Dijk, P.P., Wogan, G., Dutta, S., Inger, R.F., Kumar Shrestha, T., Manamendra-Arachchi, K. & de Silva, A. 2004. Sphaerotheca breviceps (errata version published in 2016). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T58755A86145885. . Downloaded on 16 July 2018.
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