Raviprasad Kamila

MANGALORE: Two zoology professors-cum-researchers, one from Mangalore and another from Japan, have said that they have found two new species of frogs in the Western Ghats.

The new species of bush frog, which belongs to genus Philautus, are Philautus luteolus and Philautus tuberohumerus.

S. Hareesh Joshy, Head, Department of Zoology, St. Aloysius College, Mangalore, and Mitsuru Kuramoto, Emiretus Professor, Fukuoka University, Japan, have found them in Kudremukh and Kogadu region in the Western Ghats.

Philautus luteolus is a medium-sized yellow colour frog with a few indistinct markings.

In Latin, "luteolus'' means yellow. Hence, they called it by the same name. It has pointed longer snout and does not have noticeable black markings.

Advertisement calls (calls made by male frogs to invite females for breeding) of these species are that they produce trills (sound) consisting of short phase and long phase. This species are present in Kudremukh and Kirundadu areas in the Western Ghats, Mr. Joshy told The Hindu.

Philautus tuberohumerus is a tiny dark brown frog. This species has an extension of bone anterially in the tubero-humerus region.

It can be easily identified by its small size and absence of a papilla on the tongue. As it has an extension of bone in its tubero-humerus region, it got the name. It produces sharp and metallic sounds and is seen in Chikmagalur and Kudremukh areas, he said.

Both the new species have adhesive pads in their legs, Mr. Joshy said.In India, there are 260 species of frogs. Of them, 135 species are found in the Western Ghats.

They have published the findings of the research on the new species in the scientific journal, "Current Herpetology'', published by the Herpetologist Society of Japan.

Mr. Joshy is involved in research on bio-diversity of frogs in Western Ghats for the past 12 years and has published scientific papers in national and international journals.

He obtained his Ph.D from Mangalore University for his research on "Cytogenetic studies of anurans of Western Ghats''.

Rondano Bio-diversity Research Laboratory at St. Aloysius College is involved in research on frogs. The research activities are supported by the college.