Amphibians & Fish of Tabin Wildlife Reserve
Index & Overviews

Toads True Frogs Tree Frogs & Narrow Mouthed Frogs Fish


Sabah has no salamanders or newts but it is home to about 140 species of frogs or toads and new species are being discovered almost every year. Borneo is blessed with a high proportion of endemic species. A Field Guide to the Frogs of Borneo by Inger & Stuebing (1997) provides invaluable information for anyone interested in Bornean amphibians. The more than 60 species listed in the present guide include those recently identified by Zainudin et. al. (2002) in the Crocker Range (designated by “c”) and also includes the species listed by Jomitin et al (1999) in Tabin. (designated by “t”).

Almost certainly there are dozens of frog species yet to be found in Tabin. The most commonly seen frog in Tabin is the giant river frog, Rana leporina (formerly Rana blythi). Frogs and toads have managed to fit in to an amazing range of niches within any habitat that is moist enough to support their survival so an area such as Tabin is replete with them.

Although many Bornean frog and toad species make amphibious forays into ponds and streams there is also a rich array of arboreal species. Many of these have vivid colouration and distinctive calls. Tree frogs can be difficult to see because many live in the jungle canopy but once seen they often provide interesting displays of behaviour. Frogs and toads are carnivores and most have a staple diet of insects .Some also eat snails, other frogs, small reptiles and any other animal they can catch and swallow.

Even if you do not see frogs you are sure to her their calls on any damp night. It can be great fun to foray out into frog country at night with a good torch and suitable attire to seek out and view the sources of those froggy songs. The frogs of Borneo are varied and many are colourful so seeking them out is worth the effort and the likelihood of adding species to the Tabin list is high.

In Tabin there are 9 families of fish with 29 species recorded so far. The upper reaches of the Tabin River, has been found to have an abundance of fish and many of these attain a large size. Other rivers with good populations of fish are the Lumpongon, Tagas-Tagas, Lumeru and Kapur rivers.

By number about 55% of the in Tabin are cyprinids and some of these can grow to a large size. The river carp Tor douronensis (locally known as “belian”) can attain a length of up to 40 cm. and a weight of more than 10 kg. Cyprinids can be found in both shallow and deep water. Most of the fishes of Tabin are of economic value as ornamental and/or as food fishes.

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