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Natural Resources Science


Ansonia hanitschi is a small, stream-breeding toad endemic to Borneo. Little is known about its ecology or behavior. We documented diurnal activity patterns and habitat use, nocturnal habitat use, and body sizes of A. hanitschi near streams and in forests on Gunung Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. We identified 12 unique diurnal behaviors in this species. Ansonia hanitschi are sit-and-wait predators that spend > 75% of their time during the day, on average, sitting inactive in shady areas within 1.2 m of the stream. Observed toads spent 6% of their time jumping, 4% of their time crawling, and 4% of their time engaging in an arm waving behavior. During the day, individuals were more commonly found on smaller sand and cobble substrates. At night, individuals rested on the leaves of slender-stemmed plants within 2 m of the ground surface and at a mean distance of 2.3 m from the stream edge. Female snout-vent length averaged 32 mm, and gravid females ranged from 28 to 35 mm in length. We found that 88% of females near the stream during the day were gravid, compared with 80% of females away from streams at night. Our observations indicate that this species is diurnal and retreats to the leaves of small plants at night, possibly to avoid predation.