The most beautiful frog species in Japan found in mysterious blue

The most beautiful frog species in Japan found in mysterious blue

Blue Okinawa Ishikawagaeru photographed by Kazuo Minato in Kunigami village


April 13, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


Kazuo Minato, a 59- year-old animal photographer from Nishihara town, found a blue Okinawa Ishikawagaeru (Odorrana ishikawae) which he managed to capture in a close-range photo.

It is said that the species is Japan’s most beautiful frog, and the species is registered as the prefecure’s natural monument.

The photographer was walking on the forest road to look for animals at midnight on April 10.

He managed to photograph the frog, to which he commented “I’m happy to encounter the blue frog for the first time.”


Minato has been taking photos of insects and animals in the rich nature of Yambaru forest for the past four decades.

He has watched hundreds of green Okinawa Ishikawagaeru, but it was his first time seeing a blue frog.


He later said that he could not find many animals after walking in the forest for three hours since the forest was dry.

He found the blue frog just as he had called it quits for the night and started to headed back.

He remembers, “although Okinawa Ishikawagaeru have their breeding season in winter, I heard its call and thought ‘oh they are still around’.”


Minato said, “I knew there were blue frogs, but I also heard that they are spread around so I wanted to see it.”

The frog was about three to four centimeters and is considered as a young one.


Atsushi Tominaga, an associate professor at the University of the Ryukyus, explains, “The frogs turn blue when they lack yellow chromatophore. The blue Okinawa Ishikawagaeru is reported to be seen these days more often than before, but it is still rare to find them.”


(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma)


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