Rhacophorus nigropalmatus Wallace’s Flying Frog
Some other names for this species:
Abah River Flying Frog
Lowlands, Selangor, MalaysiaJanuary 15, 2017
Wallace’s Flying Frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus) Wallace’s Flying Frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus) Wallace’s Flying Frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus)
Alfred Russel Wallace, the brilliant Victorian British naturalist and co-developer of the theory of evolution by natural selection, might have been the first European to see any of the “flying frogs” of South-east Asia. In his magnum opus The Malay Archipelago he wrote:

“One of the most curious and interesting reptiles which I met with in Borneo was a large tree-frog, which was brought me by one of the Chinese workmen. He assured me that he had seen it come down, in a slanting direction, from a high tree, as if it flew. On examining it, I found the toes very long and fully webbed to their very extremity, so that when expanded they offered a surface much larger than the body. The fore legs were also bordered by a membrane, and the body was capable of considerable inflation.”

Since Wallace’s time, a number of other species of flying frogs have been discovered. But since this one was the first to be described scientifically, it has a special place in the hearts of frog-lovers everywhere. (Never mind the fact that in the mid-1860's amphibians were not distinguished from reptiles.)

Of all the frogs, lizards, snakes, and caecilians in Malaysia, this was the species I most wanted to see. So naturally my guide Kurt "Orion" G found two of them for me on my first night in the country. Go Kurt!

My Travelogues and Trip Lists page includes a complete list of the herps I saw in the wild on this trip to Malaysia, as well as a travelogue of the trip.

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