Mossy Frog

(Theloderma corticale)




Facts about this animal

As large as 8-9 cm. The colour and texture of their skin look like a bunch of moss: The green skin, having black spots and stains, is provided with numerous tubercles and spines, therefore it is quite impossible to see a calmly sitting frog (allocryptic coloration).


This is a semi-aquatic species spending much of the time hiding in the water under rocks and floating plants. It will also attach itself to the crevice on a rock, just above the water appearing to be moss.


It breeds usually in rock cavities with accumulated still water at their floor, but has also been observed breeding in tree holes by larval development. The eggs are deposited above the water to protect them from aquatic predators and hatch in 7 to 14 days with the newly hatched tadpoles dropping from their egg into the water directly below them. Metamorphosis from tadpole to frog takes about 3 months.

Did you know?
that the Mossy Frog will fold into a ball when frightened and play dead?


Name (Scientific) Theloderma corticale
Name (English) Mossy Frog
Name (French) Grenouille lichen
Name (German) Moosfrosch
Name (Spanish) Rana musgosa
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
© Brian Gratwicke



Range Viet Nam
Habitat The species is known from the Mao Son and Tam Dao mountain ranges of northern Vietnam, from 800m up to 1300 m. Known from steep rocky cliffs in karst zones in primary evergreen rainforest in flooded caves and deep niches on the sides of mountain streams.
Wild population It is suggested that the species may be locally common. Forest damage however continues to be significant: Clear cutting has reduced the available habitat to this species. This is one of the few regional frog species for which there is also a specific demand in the global pet trade.
Zoo population 156 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Mossy Frog


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 45 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
© Tim Vickers

Why do zoos keep this animal

Deforestation is the main danger for this species now, because Vietnam and other countries have very fast economic development and destroy primary rainforest.