Rhacophorus is a genus of frogs in the shrub frog family (Rhacophoridae) which together with the related Hylidae makes up the true tree frogs. They are found in India, Japan, Madagascar, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Over forty species are currently recognised.[1]

Rhacophorus malabaricus flat.jpg
Malabar gliding frog
(Rhacophorus malabaricus)
Note the elongated toes with prominent webbing.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Rhacophoridae
Subfamily: Rhacophorinae
Genus: Rhacophorus
Kuhl & Hasselt, 1822

See text

  • Rhacoforus Palacky, 1898 (lapsus)
  • Racophorus Schlegel, 1826 (lapsus)

These frogs have long toes with strong webbing between them, enabling the animals to slow their fall to a glide, a form of arboreal locomotion known as 'parachuting'.[2] They are therefore among the anurans commonly known as "flying frogs".

The present genus is closely related to Polypedates, which in former times was often included in Rhacophorus. Even today, it is not fully resolved in which of these genera "P." feae and the Chinese flying frog ("R." dennysi) properly belong, and the supposedly new species "P. pingbianensis" has turned out to be the same as R. duboisi.


These frogs lay their eggs in aerial foam nests; upon hatching, tadpoles drop to the water under the nest and complete their development there.[3][4]


The following species are recognised in the genus Rhacophorus:[1][5]


The following is a partial phylogeny of Rhacophorus from Pyron & Wiens (2011).[6] Only nine species are included. Rhacophorus is a sister group of Polypedates.[6]


Rhacophorus annamensis

Rhacophorus orlovi

Rhacophorus malabaricus

Rhacophorus calcaneus

Rhacophorus rhodopus

Rhacophorus bipunctatus

Rhacophorus kio

Rhacophorus reinwardtii

Rhacophorus lateralis


  1. ^ a b Frost, Darrel R. (2013). "Rhacophorus". Amphibian Species of the World 5.6, an Online Reference. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  2. ^ John R. Hutchinson. "Gliding and Parachuting". www.ucmp.berkeley.edu. Regents of the University of California.
  3. ^ Grosjean, S.; Delorme, M.; Dubois, A.; Ohler, A. (2008). "Evolution of reproduction in the Rhacophoridae (Amphibia, Anura)". Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research. 46 (2): 169. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0469.2007.00451.x.
  4. ^ Li, Jiatang; Dingqi Rao; Robert W. Murphy; Yaping Zhang (2011). "The systematic status of rhacophorid frogs" (PDF). Asian Herpetological Research. 2: 1–11. doi:10.3724/SP.J.1245.2011.00001.
  5. ^ a b Rowley, J. J. L.; Tran, D. T. A.; Hoang, H. D.; Le, D. T. T. (2012). "A new species of large flying frog (Rhacophoridae: Rhacophorus) from lowland forests in southern Vietnam". Journal of Herpetology. 46 (4): 480–487. doi:10.1670/11-261.
  6. ^ a b R. Alexander Pyron; John J. Wiens (2011). "A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of extant frogs, salamanders, and caecilians". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 61 (2): 543–583. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.06.012. PMID 21723399.

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