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A Günther’s Frog in Hong Kong


AJP noticed this frog at Tai Po Kau Forest Reserve final week. It’s Günther’s Frog, named after Albert Charles Lewis Gotthilf Günther FRS (1830-1914) of the British Museum, or till he turned a naturalized British topic in 1862, Albert Okay[C]arl Ludwig Gotthilf Günther. The species was described in 1882 by George Albert Boulenger FRS (1858-1937), one other naturalized Brit on the similar establishment.

Günther’s Frog

The three specimens of the frog proven in Boulenger’s catalogue (two females and one younger) had been collected at Amoy and had been introduced to the museum by Robert Swinhoe FRS who, for a few of his time in China, was British Consul at Amoy (now Xiamen* in Fujian Province).

The plate displaying Rana guentheri from Boulenger’s Catalogue
for the British Museum revealed in 1882

Günther’s Frog was the second amphibian we noticed after we arrived in Hong Kong in 1965. A night stroll to the lily pond within the college compound produced an abundance. They’re widespread in lowland Hong Kong, with breeding beginning in late March or early April. The frog is present in central and south China in addition to Vietnam. Initially named Rana guentheri by Boulenger, it was referred to as Hylarana guentheri for a few years earlier than changing into Sylvirana guentheri as the results of a serious molecular phylogenetic research in 2015.

The identify of the frog at all times jogs my memory of one other member of the Gunther household, Albert’s grand-daughter-in-law who I helped, I hope, in her analysis within the early Nineteen Seventies. Extra on this—and the tragedy which killed a zoologist and left her a widow—in a future article.

The outdated Lily Pond within the College of Hong Kong
from Mellor B. 1980. The College of Hong Kong,
An Casual Historical past.

*I puzzled how the place we knew in English as ‘Amoy’ within the Nineteen Sixties had turn out to be ‘Xiamen’ by the Nineteen Nineties. The previous is seemingly the latter’s pronunciation within the Zhangzhou dialect of Hokkien.

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