Bengaluru

New frog species found in Biligiri

The new species has been named Honnametti bush frog. — photo: by special arrangement

The new species has been named Honnametti bush frog. — photo: by special arrangement  

A small hill station in the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve (BRTTR) now lends its name to a new species of bush frog that was discovered there by scientists recently.

The Honnametti bush frog (scientific name: Raorchestes honnametti ) was discovered by a team from Gubbi Labs and ATREE (Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment) when they were called to the tiger reserve to look for the rare Sholiga narrow-mouthed frog.

The species discovered is a cryptic bush frog — that is, it resembles another species of Seshachar’s bush frog ( Raorchestes charius ). The discovery, says Priti H. from ATREE, would make it the first such cryptic species to be found in the Western Ghats, one that can lead us to understanding the evolutionary history of such species.

“It is very difficult to differentiate between the Honnametti bush frog and Seshachar’s bush frog (discovered first in Chikkamagaluru district in 1937). So, we integrated a classical approach in describing a species with the molecular and acoustic analysis in describing the new species,” said Gururaja K.V., Chief Scientist, Gubbi Labs, who is the lead author of a paper that describes the discovery.

DNA analysis and the call pattern of the bush frog eventually led to the clinching proof that it was indeed a hitherto unknown species.

The species was named after Honnametti, the hill station in the tiger reserve where a British couple set up their estate in 1923.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 5:08:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/new-frog-species-found-in-biligiri/article8306748.ece

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