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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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