New species of tree frog discovered

A new species of tree frog was discovered and another species of bush frog was rediscovered by a team of researchers during their recent exploration in the Western Ghats.

The discovery, published in the latest issue of International Taxonomic Journal Zootaxa , is a joint effort by a team comprised Robin Abraham, a researcher from the University of Kansas, USA; Anil Zachariah, a batrachologist from Wayanad and Vivek Philip Cyriac, a researcher, of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram.

The team discovered a new species of Rhacophorid tree frog of the genus Ghatixalus. The new species is named Ghatixalus magnus after its large size making it the biggest known tree frog from the Western Ghats.

Elusive species

The team has also rediscovered a frog that had been evading for the past many decades. Raorchestes flaviventris , a species of rhacophorid bush frog described from the Western Ghats by George Albert Boulenger in 1882, had never been reported from the region since its description. The team members have found this elusive frog from the High Ranges of Idukki district in Kerala. The discovery of this frog after around 132 years was published in International Journal Zootaxa .

Interestingly, both these frogs were discovered from Kadalar in the high ranges of Idukki distrct , a place which has yielded several new species of amphibians in the past, indicating the need to focus conservation efforts. The discovery of a new species of tree frog despite its large size stresses the need for further explorations even in areas which seem to be well studied, which is necessary to focus conservation efforts, says Dr. Anil Zachariah.

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