Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Blunt-headed burrowing frog

Glyphoglossus molossus, Albert C. L. G. Günther, 1868

(In Thai: อึ่้งเพ้า)

Glyphoglossus molossus is a species of frog in the Microhylidae family. It is monotypic within the genus Glyphoglossus. Its common names are Blunt-headed Burrowing Frog and Balloon Frog, among others.

Distribution and Habitat

It is found in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, moist savanna, intermittent freshwater marshes, rural gardens, and heavily degraded former forest.

Breeding Biology

These large, burrowing frogs follow the general theme of microhylids that deposit aquatic eggs. There is explosive breeding activity in ephemeral water sources such as ponds and ditches. The frogs perform multiple amplectic dips to oviposit surface films of pigmented eggs. A portion of a clutch is released with each dip, with a dip lasting for about 6 seconds. 200-300 eggs are released per dip. The ova have a dark black animal pole and yellow vegetal pole. Tadpoles feed by filtering suspended material in the water column.


Glyphoglossus molossus is threatened by habitat loss.

As food

In certain areas this frog is collected in large numbers as food during the breeding season.

The Balloon Frog is very popular as a food item in Thailand, where it is known as Eung pak khuat or Eung phao (). It has been traditionally considered a delicacy in Thai cuisine, the frog's texture and taste reputedly being so exquisite that it can be eaten whole. It is usually eaten barbecued as Eung yang, often wrongly labeled in English as "bubble frog" or "bullfrog" instead of Balloon Frog.

Natural populations of this amphibian, however, have been severely depleted in most areas of the country owing to overcatching. Currently projects are undertaken to breed and release these frogs into their natural habitat. The first place where breeding was undertaken was in Mae Tha District, Lamphun Province in June 2011.

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Scientific classification

Glyphoglossus molossus

Common names

  • English:
    • Balloon frog
    • Blunt-headed burrowing frog
    • Broad-lipped frog
    • Truncate-snouted burrowing frog
    • Truncate-snouted spadefoot frog
  • Thai: อึ่้งเพ้า

Conservation status

Near Threatened (IUCN3.1)

Near Threatened (IUCN3.1)


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Glyphoglossus molossus
Glyphoglossus molossus
Glyphoglossus molossus
Glyphoglossus molossus

Range Map

Distribution map of Blunt-headed burrowing frog, Glyphoglossus molossus in Thailand
  • Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Khun Han District, Sisaket
  • Mueang Loei District, Loei
  • Phibun Mangsahan District, Ubon Ratchathani
  • Phimai District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Sai Yok National Park
  • Sakaerat Environmental Research Station
  • Suan Phueng District, Ratchaburi
  • Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary
Range map of Glyphoglossus molossus in Thailand