Hidden Gem: Magnificently Speckled Amami Ishikawa Frog Makes Rare Appearance

Guide to Japan Environment

The ornately speckled Amami Ishikawa frog is considered by many to be Japan’s most beautiful amphibian. An endangered species, the frog is typically found in the forests of Amami Ōshima in Kagoshima Prefecture. However, customers at the Amami Country Club in the Naze district of the city received a surprise when a specimen was discovered living in a drainage pipe in a retaining wall near the club’s driving range.

The Amami Ishikawa frog is one of Japan’s larger species, growing to around 10 centimeters in length. Mostly nocturnal, the frogs live in forested areas near streams, their bright green coloring and large brown speckles allowing them to easily blends in with moss and other litter on the forest floor. Populations have fallen due to habitat loss, and the species is now protected by the national and Kagoshima prefectural governments.

Club member Sakae Shinji has sighted the frog going in and out of the drainage pipe on several occasions since July of this year. He states: “I was impressed when I saw it for the first time.” Chuckling, he adds, “It seems to have taken up residence in the pipe, and now is something of a familiar face.”

(Originally published in Japanese on Kyōdoshi.com on September 29, 2022. Translated and edited by Nippon.com. Banner photo: An Amami Ishikawa frog peaks from a drainage pipe on the grounds of the Amami Country Club. © Nankai Nichinichi.)


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Japanese inn nature animal Kagoshima Amami Ōshima Kyōdoshi