• The Malaysian horned leaf frog (Megophrys nasuta) is a common amphibian found from southern Thailand to Singapore, across all of Borneo, and on several smaller islands. Accurately named, this frog is expertly camouflaged to resemble the leaf litter of forest floors, where it spends much of its time as an ambush hunter, waiting for prey to cross its path. Long projections over each eye aid in the camouflage effect and give the appearance of horns.

    Although common in the wild and in the pet trade, little is actually known about the Malaysian horned leaf frog’s status in the wild. It is still commonly found over a wide area, and thus the population is still presumed to be large. However, deforestation is a significant problem over much of its range, as on the island of Borneo. Continued habitat loss and collection for the pet trade may pose challenges for wild populations of frogs in the future.

    1. Where is the Malaysian horned leaf frog found?

      The Malaysian horned leaf frog is found in southeast Asia, from Southern Thailand to Singapore, on Borneo, and on several smaller islands in the region.

    2. Why is the Malaysian horned leaf frog disguised like a dead leaf?

      The Malaysian horned leaf frog is camouflaged because it is an ambush predator; it spends much of its time in leaf litter and so looking like a leaf can help it catch its prey. Additionally, its appearance acts as camouflage protecting it from predators.

    3. Why might the Malaysian horned leaf frog face challenges in the future?

      The Malaysian horned leaf frog faces habitat loss from deforestation across much of its range and capture for the international pet trade.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    amphibian Noun

    an animal able to live both on land and in water.

    camouflage Noun

    tactic that organisms use to disguise their appearance, usually to blend in with their surroundings.

    Encyclopedic Entry: camouflage
    deforestation Noun

    destruction or removal of forests and their undergrowth.

    prey Noun

    animal that is hunted and eaten by other animals.