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Wallace's Flying Frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus)

Licence: 
Creative Commons Licence
Description: 

Wallace's flying frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus) was discovered by Wallace in Sarawak, Borneo and named by Boulenger in 1895 (not based on a specimen Wallace collected, however). Wallace writes the following about his capture of this species in his book The Malay Archipelago: "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......This is, I believe, the first instance known of a "flying frog," and it is very interesting to Darwinians as showing that the variability of the toes which have been already modified for purposes of swimming and adhesive climbing, have been taken advantage of to enable an allied species to pass through the air like the flying lizard." This watercolour was painted by Wallace in Sarawak and was used as the basis of the woodcut illustration of this species in The Malay Archipelago.