Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider, 1799)

Species:D. melanostictus
Common Names:Asian Toad

Systematics & Taxonomy

Synonym of Bufo melanostictus.


The Asian Toad has a robust body with relatively short and slender hind limbs. The webbings between its toes are highly reduced. It has grey to yellowish-brown warty skin, oval-shaped paratoid glands and two black ridges on top of its head. This species can grow to a snout-vent length of 11 cm.

Read more about the Anura order.
Read more about the Bufonidae family.


Ranges from Sri Lanka, south China, through Indochina, Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Singapore to west Indonesia and Borneo.


Found throughout Singapore and its offshore islands.

Locality Map

General Biology

This solitary and nocturnal animal is found in various habitats in rural and urban areas, including grassy lawns and drains. It can also be found in forests and coastal areas. The adult is terrestrial. Its call comprises of a series of “kwa-kwa-kwa” and is usually heard before and after a heavy rain. When threatened, it will inflate its body. Its skin secretion is poisonous and one should wash one’s hands thoroughly after handling it.


It feeds on insects. At night, it can be seen beneath street lamps and other light source, where it catches insects attracted by the light.

Life Cycle

Tadpoles of this species may be abundant in ditches and drains and they are tolerant of brackish water. The tadpoles are about 1 cm in length and are blackish.

Other Resources

Ecology Asia. 2012. Asian Toad. http://www.ecologyasia.com/verts/amphibians/asian_toad.htm. (Accessed October 2012).


Baker, N. & K.K.P. Lim, 2008. Wild Animals of Singapore. A Photographic Guide to Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes. Draco Publishing and Distribution Pte Ltd and Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.

Chua, M. A. H. & K. K. P. Lim, 2011. Toads. Pp. 485. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Lee Grismer, L., 2011. Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of the Seribuat Archipelago, Peninsular Malaysia. Chimaira Buchhandelsgesellschaft mbH. 239 pp.

Lim, K.K.P. & F.L.K. Lim, 2002. A Guide to the Amphibians & Reptiles of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.

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