Five frog species rediscovered

Anamalai Dot Frog. Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Scientists of the University of Delhi, in a collaborative programme involving researchers from other leading institutions in the country, have rediscovered five species of frogs believed extinct long ago.

Chalazodes Bubble-nest Frog ( Raorchestes chalazodes), was last reported in 1874 from the Kalakkad-Mundanthurai region in the western ghats in south India. The rediscovery of this fluorescent green frog with ash-blue thighs and black pupils after 137 years was reported in Kodayar, Tamil Nadu.

The other four species rediscovered are: Anamalai Dot-frog ( Ramanella anamalaiensis), last reported 74 years ago; Dehradun Stream frog ( Amolops chakrataensis), last seen 26 years ago; Silent Valley tropical frog ( Micrixalus thampii), last seen 31 years ago; and Elegant tropical frog ( Micrixalus elegans), last seen 74 years ago.

In a press release on Wednesday, the university said these findings had come as a result of the ‘Lost Amphibians of India' (LAI) initiative launched by it in November 2010 to survey and find out the fate of nearly 50 species that had eluded sighting for periods ranging from 18 to 170 years.

The Zoological Survey of India, the Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore) and the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment are among the institutions collaborating in this programme.The Anamalai Dot-frog, named after the Anamalai hills in the southern Western Ghats from where it was reported first, was last seen in 1937. The original specimen was lost and there was no confirmed information on this species until scientists rediscovered it from the Parambikulam wildlife sanctuary under the LAI initiative recently.

During their survey, the scientists came across a specimen of the Silent Valley tropical frog by luck in a bin at a field station in the Silent Valley National Park. They later found several specimens of the species under leaf litter close to a stream in the park, S.D. Biju, coordinator of the LAI initiative, said.

The Dehradun Stream frog is known only from the description based on the finding of a single specimen in 1985. This frog appears to be extremely rare and its habitat, Tiger Falls in Uttarakhand, is in need of protection to ensure its survival, according to Dr. Biju.

The Elegant tropical frog too is known only from a description based on specimens collected in 1937. It was rediscovered from Kempholey in Karnataka.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 12:38:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/Five-frog-species-rediscovered/article15447075.ece

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