Rana japonica Boulenger, 1879

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Ranidae > Genus: Rana > Species: Rana japonica

Rana temporaria var. japonica Günther, 1859 "1858", Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus.: 17. Syntypes: BMNH (Japan), (Ningpo); Chusan specimens probably lost according to L.J. Borkin IN Frost, 1985, Amph. Species World: 496; Boulenger, 1920, Rec. Indian Mus., 20: 95, designated as "types" 2 specimens from Japan, thus restricting the type locality. Type locality: "Ningpo" [= Ningbo Shi, Zhejiang Province, China]; "Chusan" (= Zhoushan Is., Zhejiang Province, China); "Japan"; restricted type locality is "Japan". Nomen nudum. See comment by O'Shaughnessy, 1881, Zool. Rec., 16: 15, and discussion by Dubois and Ohler, 1996 "1994", Zool. Polon., 39: 162.

Rana middendorffi Steenstrup, 1869, Vidensk. Medd. Dansk Naturhist. Foren., Ser. 2, 1869: 18. Types: ZMUC. Type locality: "Siberien". Synonymy by Boulenger, 1920, Rec. Indian Mus., 20: 93. Previously considered a junior synonym of Rana arvalis by Nikolskii, 1918, Fauna Rossii, Zemnovodnye: 52.Considered a nomen oblitum under the 1963 Code of Zoological Nomenclature by Borkin, 1975 "1974", Tezisy Dokladov Zool. Inst. Akad. Nauk SSSR, Leningrad, 1974: 6-7.

Rana japonica Boulenger, 1879, Bull. Soc. Zool. France, 4: 190. Syntype(s): 3 specimens, presumably in MNHNP or BMNH. Type locality: "Japon".

Rana martensi Boulenger, 1886, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1886: 414. Syntypes: BMNH (1 specimen), ZMB (several specimens), by original designation. Type locality: "Yedo". Synonymy by Stejneger, 1907, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 58: 108; Kawamura, 1962, J. Sci. Hiroshima Univ., B—Zool., 20: 191.

Rana martensiiBoulenger, 1886, Bull. Soc. Zool. France, 11: 599. Incorrect subsequent spelling.

Rana (Rana) japonicaBoulenger, 1920, Rec. Indian Mus., 20: 9. Dubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 41-42; by implication; Dubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 333; Yuan, Zhou, Chen, Poyarkov, Chen, Jang-Liaw, Chou, Matzke, Iizuka, Min, Kuzmin, Zhang, Cannatella, Hillis, and Che, 2016, Syst. Biol., 65: 835.

Rana temporaria var. martensiOkada and Kawano, 1923, Zool. Mag., Tokyo, 35: 367.

Rana temporaria martensiOkada, 1931, Tailless Batr. Japan. Empire: 118. Sato and Takashima, 1955, Misc. Rep. Yamashina Inst. Ornithol. Zool., 6: 260-268.

Rana (Rana) japonica japonicaNakamura and Ueno, 1963, Japan. Rept. Amph. Color: 41.

Rana japonica japonicaZhao, Tan, and Wu, 1987, Acta Zootaxon. Sinica, 12: 213-218.

Rana (Laurasiarana) japonicaHillis and Wilcox, 2005, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 34: 311, by implication; see Dubois, 2006, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 317-330, and Hillis, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 331-338, for discussion.

English Names

Agile Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 108).

Japan Brown Frog (Maeda and Matsui, 1990, Frogs Toads Japan, Ed. 2: 47; Goris and Maeda, 2004, Guide Amph. Rept. Japan: 70).


Japan (Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku Is., as well as the Tanegashima Group).


In the Section Rana, subgenus Rana, Rana japonica group of Dubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 333. See Stejneger, 1907, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 58: 107-113; Nakamura and Ueno, 1963, Japan. Rept. Amph. Color: 41-42; Liu, 1950, Fieldiana, Zool. Mem., 2: 285-292 (as Rana japonica and Rana chaochiaoensis); and Kuramoto, 1974, Copeia, 1974: 815-822. See comments under Rana chaochiaoensis and Rana longicrus. See nomenclature discussion by Tanaka, Matsui, and Takenaka, 1994, Zool. Sci., Tokyo, 11: 753-757, discussed the relationships of this species with Rana ornativentris, Rana pirica, Rana tagoi, and Rana sakuraii. Sumida and Nishioka, 1994, Sci. Rep. Lab. Amph. Biol. Hiroshima Univ., 13: 137-171, and Sumida, 1996, J. Herpetol., 30: 333-346, presented evidence suggestive of two cryptic species under this name in Japan. (This conclusion also reach by Highton, 2000, in Bruce et al., Biol. Plethodontid Salamanders: 236.) Sumida and Ogata, 1998, Zool. Sci., Tokyo, 15: 989-1000, and Sumida, 1997, Genes Genet. Syst., 72: 79-90, provided additional evidence from mtDNA sequences and restiction site analysis, respectively. See Tanaka-Ueno, Matsui, Sato, Takenaka, and Takenaka, 1998, Japan. J. Herpetol., 17: 91-97, for phylogenetic relationships and discussion. Formerly confused with Rana zhenhaiensis, Rana omeimontis, and Rana chaochiaoensis. Maeda and Matsui, 1990, Frogs Toads Japan, Ed. 2: 44-47, provided an account for Japan, noted an undescribed species from the Tohoku Distict and noted that Rana martensi might be conspecific. Goris and Maeda, 2004, Guide Amph. Rept. Japan: 70-72, provided an account, map, and photograph. Lu, Li, Wang, Wang, and Cui, 2005, Sichuan J. Zool., 24: 276-278, discussed and rejected records of Rana japonica from China. Kobayashi, Abe, Tomita, and Matsuki, 2018, Curr. Herpetol., Kyoto, 37: 11–22, reported on landscape genetics in Inba Lake, eastern Japan. 

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