The Common Indian Tree Frog

Common Indian Tree Frog
Common Indian Tree Frog

The same night when I photographing Red Palm Weevil, I also had another guest in my kitchen. On the kitchen sink was a Common Indian Tree Frog or Chunam Tree Frog (Polypedates maculatus). It is a common species of tree frog found in India. During summer it visits moist places like kitchen and bathrooms.

The frog was quite shy. Photographing it on a shiny, moist, black kitchen sink posed a problem as all the glazed tile in the kitchen were reflective. Since it was night I had to use the flash. Canon Speedlite 580EX II flash with Rayflash adapter posed a similar issue. I used a black cloth over the tiles to prevent extra reflection. I tilted the Ray flash adapter so that its reflection is minimized. I had to do post processing on all these photos to remove the catch light of Ray flash adapter in the eye which was quite a distraction.

Taxonomy of these frogs is a mess as this same frog till few years ago was considered to belong to Rhacophorus genus and was called Rhacophorus maculatus. The northwestern subspecies Polypedates maculatus himalayensis was formerly considered an independent species. Polypedates leucomystax, a very similar species, was often included in Polypedates maculatus in former times.

Common Indian Tree Frog
Common Indian Tree Frog

These frogs measure about 7-8 cm in body length. They are mostly brownish, yellowish, greyish, or whitish above, with darker spots or markings, rarely with an hourglass-shaped figure on the back of the head and the front of the back. The loreal and temporal regions are dark; there is a light line on the upper lip. The hind side of the thighs has round yellow spots, which are usually separated by a dark brown or purplish network. The skin is smooth above, granulated on the belly and under the thighs; a fold extends from the eye to the shoulder. Males have internal vocal sacs.

Common Indian Tree Frog Up Close
Common Indian Tree Frog Up Close

It is widespread throughout Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, as well as western and southern Bangladesh to Chittagong District; its range might also extend into nearby China and Myanmar. This common and adaptable frog is listed as Species of Least Concern by the IUCN.

Common Indian Tree Frog Frontal View
Common Indian Tree Frog Frontal View

They have day roosts that they may use regularly. Their call is a sudden short and rapid series of rattling rat-tats. They wipe themselves with skin secretions consisting of mucus and lipids that help in reducing moisture loss. When temperatures are higher they secrete fluid from the skin, pant and adopt lighter skin colors.

EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/14 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark II | Taken : 19 February, 2010 | Flash fired : yes | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 200 | Location : 13° 4′ 2.1788399970218″ N 74° 59′ 44.315879828326″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/14 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark II | Taken : 19 February, 2010 | Flash fired : yes | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 200 | Location : 13° 4′ 2.1788399970218″ N 74° 59′ 44.315879828326″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/14 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark II | Taken : 19 February, 2010 | Flash fired : yes | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 200 | Location : 13° 4′ 2.1788399970218″ N 74° 59′ 44.315879828326″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/14 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark II | Taken : 19 February, 2010 | Flash fired : yes | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 200 | Location : 13° 4′ 2.1788399970218″ N 74° 59′ 44.315879828326″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.

3 thoughts on “The Common Indian Tree Frog

  1. NIce shot of the eye with visible blood vessels to the ‘Aperture’. 🙂
    Seen this frog ‘hibernating’ behind photo frames hung on wall. Is it hibernation? or as you said ‘just a visit’ ?

  2. thank you for this information & as had also photographed same species at a place where i
    went on snake call but i was unaware about it,s name.

Leave a Comment

Share