Vampire Flying Frog (Rhacophorus vampyrus)

Vampire Flying Frog
photo by Jodi Rowley
Conservation status is Endangered

Common Name: Vampire Flying Frog or Vampire Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Rhacophorus vampyrus
Family: Rhacophoridae – Asian Tree Frog family
Locations: Vietnam
Female Size: 1.53 – 2.1 inches (38.9 – 53.4 mm)
Male Size: 1.67 – 1.76 inches (42.5 – 44.8 mm)

The Vampire Flying Frog is named after the mouth parts in the tadpole that resemble fangs or hooks. They do not feed on the blood of the living. However, these tadpoles do eat unhatched eggs and unfertilized eggs that the mother lays. They are also similar to vampires in that they can fly (well glide) from tree to tree, thanks to their highly webbed fingers.

They are a relatively new species to science, only being described by the amazing Dr. Jodi Rowley in 2010. They live in high elevation montane evergreen forests in the Langbian Plateau of southern Vietnam. They rarely ever leave the trees, even breeding in the trees.

The frogs breed during the rainy season in Vietnam, between May and July. The pair of frogs breed in hallowed out tree. They also create foam nest that keeps the eggs from drying out. As previously mentioned, the mother frog performs parental care for their offspring. She lays unfertilized eggs for her offspring to eat.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Vampire Flying Frog as Endangered. The frogs live in only two small areas that are threatened by farming, logging, and the creation of roads. Luckily, they are found in the Bidoup Núi Bà National Park but more protections are needed to help protect the species.

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