Solomon Island palm frog (Palmatorappia solomonis)

Solomon Island palm frog on leaf
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Solomon Island palm frog fact file

Solomon Island palm frog description

GenusPalmatorappia (1)

As its name suggests, the Solomon Island palm frog is known from the Solomon archipelago in the western Pacific (1), home to an impressive array of ceratobatrachid frog diversity (2). Although described in the literature as having a purplish-brown back that fades into yellow or greenish-olive (3), the colouration of the Solomon Island palm frog appears to vary significantly. Indeed, it is thought that the Solomon Island palm frog probably comprises two separate species (1). The head of the Solomon Island palm frog is broad, with large prominent eyes, and horizontal pupils. The feet are fully webbed, and the fingers and toes are dilated into large, somewhat truncate discs (3).        

Hylella solomonis, Hypsirana heffernani.

Solomon Island palm frog biology

Very little is known about the natural history of the Solomon Island tree frog, but unlike most frogs, this species breeds by direct development, whereby it transforms from the egg to the adult form without passing through a free-swimming tadpole stage (1) (4).    


Solomon Island palm frog range

The Solomon Island palm frog is known from several large islands in the Solomon archipelago, including Bougainville and Buka in Papua New Guinea, while recent studies suggest it has a widespread distribution in the Solomon Islands (1).


Solomon Island palm frog habitat

Inhabits tropical rainforest and good quality secondary forest, where it is typically found on low vegetation and trees. In Papua New Guinea, it has been recorded from 700 to 1,500 metres above sea level, but on the Solomon Islands it has only been recorded below 250 metres (1).


Solomon Island palm frog status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable


Solomon Island palm frog threats

It is thought that logging might be impacting some populations of the Solomon Island palm frog, particularly in the Solomons (1). In just the last three decades, the clearance and degradation of forest has left only 25 percent of the region’s lowland forest in a pristine condition (5).


Solomon Island palm frog conservation

Given the current rate of forest loss within the Solomon Islands, there is an urgent need to improve habitat protection at sites where the Solomon Island palm frog occurs. At present, it is not known from any protected areas within its range (1).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

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Members of the anuran (frogs and toads) family Ceratobatrachidae
Secondary forest
Forest that has re-grown after a major disturbance, such as fire or timber harvest, but has not yet reached the mature state of primary forest.


  1. IUCN Red List (February, 2010)
  2. Brown, R.M. and Richards, S.J. (2008) Two new frogs of the genus Platymantis (Anura: Ceratobatrachidae) from the Isabel Island group, Solomon Islands. Zootaxa, 1888: 47-68.
  3. Brown, W.C. (1952) The Amphibians of the Solomon Islands. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College, 107: 1-65.
  4. Halliday, T. and Adler, K. (2002) The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  5. Conservation International: Biodiversity Hotspots - East Melanesian Islands (February, 2010)

Image credit

Solomon Island palm frog on leaf  
Solomon Island palm frog on leaf

© Stephen Richards

Stephen Richards
South Australian Museum


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