#FridayFrogFact – Are There Any Poisonous Frogs In India?

The Poison Dart Frogs are the deadliest frogs in the world. When the poison from a Golden Poison Dart Frog (Phyllobates terribilis) is rubbed on an arrow head and shot at a monkey high up in the canopy – the monkey falls straight down. Natives living in Colombian rainforest used this technique to hunt. Forget monkeys, just one milligramme of poison from this frog is capable of killing 10 human beings. 

giphy_poison frog

Fortunately (or unfortunately) these incredible frogs aren’t found in India. In fact, there are no poisonous frogs in India. While most toads have poison glands behind their eyes, the poison from these glands isn’t capable of doing any major harm to human beings. Most people are worried that if they touch frogs something dangerous might happen to them. Yes, that might be true for people living in other countries but not here in India. We Indians don’t have to fear – our country is free from deadly frogs!

How bright the colours are on a frog’s skin, is an indicator of just how poisonous the frog is! Most poisonous frogs produce poison as a defence mechanism to fight predators. This poison, unlike venon is not used to kill its prey. Indian frogs although have different defence mechanisms. For example, the brightly coloured Fungoid frog (Hydrophylax malabaricus) is known to produce an unpleasant odour when touched. Most toads will either urinate or secrete poison on being touched or picked up. Based on my personal observations, I have noticed that when some people with very sensitive skin come in contact with toads, they feel a burning or itching sensation. Another interesting frog whose looks can be confusing owing to its bright coloration is the Malabar Torrent Toad (Ghatophryne ornata). Rightly named, it is found on the rocks adjoining fast flowing streams in the Malabar region. The frog has bright colours on the insides – over its belly and groins. Intelligently, when the frog senses danger it flips in the flowing stream acting dead and showing off all the bright colours to the predator. 

giphy poisonous frog

 

So the next time someone points out and talks about poisonous frogs from India, you’d know the answer – there aren’t any!

PS: I am not encouraging any of you guys to pick-up or touch frogs unnecessarily!

If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here! And if you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook. Also please fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post.

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#FridayFrogFact – Laterite Narrow-mouthed Frog (Microhyla laterite): Frog of Manipal?

Manipal is situated on a stunning laterite plateau with the Western Ghats to one side and the Arabian Sea to the other. Monsoons give rise to ephemeral pools that act as breeding sites for frogs. A number of frogs, birds and other creatures rejoice and make these pools their home.

One remarkable discovery was that of a Narrow-mouthed Frog from the pools formed on the laterite plateau of Manipal. Here are my notes that will help you understand and learn everything about this newly discovered species:

  1. There are 8 species of Narrow-mouthed Frogs (genus Microhyla) in India
  2. Out of these, the 3 marked in yellow have been reported from South India
  3. Laterite Narrow-mouthed Frog (Microhyla laterite) abbreviated here as LNF is the 9th one on the list. This frog was described in March 2016 by a team of scientists
  4. The size of a male LNF is about 1.5 centimetres and that of a female is about 1.8 centimetres
  5. This new species shares habitat with Ornate Narrow-mouthed frog, Cricket frogs, Bull Frogs, Common Skittering Frogs and Tree frogs
  6. The calls of LNF are similar to that of a ground cricket – ‘Zeeee…Zeeee….Zeeee’
  7. Tadpoles of this tiny frog are small blackish creatures usually found at the base of the pools formed in monsoons. Mudigere Skittering Frog has been reported to feed on these miniature creatures
  8. To separate LNF from other confusing tiny frogs, look for the following characteristics:

    • Small sized adults with circular pupils (common to all Narrow-mouthed Frogs)
    • Smooth back that has irregular pattern (common to all Narrow-mouthed Frogs)
    • Tympanum, disc-like structures behind a frog’s eye are hidden (common to all Narrow-mouthed Frogs)
    • Size is approximately less than or equal to one-third of the length of your index finger (1.5 centimetres)
    • A short, dark horizontal line on the back in-line with its tiny forearms
    • Dark, blackish purple granulated pattern on the vocal sacs
    • Calls can be heard in monsoons around rainwater pools from 1800 to 2130 hours
  9. LNF can be confused with its sister species – Sholiga Narrow-mouthed Frog. More on this in the coming weeks on how you can differentiate between the same.

Have a look at these pictures by Vrinda Lath who is a core member of team FoM: 

If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here! And if you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook. Also please fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post.

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#FridayFrogFact – New Frog Species From India: Karaavali Skittering Frog (Euphlyctis karaavali)

A team of scientists have recently unearthed a large aquatic frog from the Western Ghats of India. This frog calls like a bird and probably this is the reason why it has been ignored all these years. In the year 2015, an incredibly large frog that resembled other frogs from the region (but was not one of them) was reported by a local forester who was conducting his regular surveys on the coasts of Karnataka. The sound he heard was one no one had noticed before! He had heard, what he thought was a White-throated Kingfisher, call from the puddles below his feet. But that’s not possible! The puddles were instead home to a new frog, awaiting recognition. A passionate team of scientists then exposed this frog to the world in their paper published in the scientific journal of Asian Herpetological Research in September 2016.

The frog looks very similar to other aquatic frogs. It is known to share its habitat with commonly occurring frogs like the Indian Bull Frog, Common Indian Toad, Common Skittering Frog, Six-toad Frog, Aloysius Skittering Frog and many others.

Here are my notes that will help you learn about and understand this new species: 

  1. There are 7 species of skittering frogs (genus Euphlyctis) in the world

  2. Out of these, the 5 marked yellow are reported from India
  3. The new frog species called Karaavali skittering frog (Euphlyctis karaavali) abbreviated here as KSF is the 8th species on the list.
  4. Among the skittering frogs, this new species is known to share habitat with Aloysi Skittering, Common Skittering, Mudigere Skittering and Six-toed Skittering frogs. Differentiating between these can be highly confusing when they are seen together
  5. The size of a male KSF is about 70.9 millimetres while that of a female is about 106 millimetres. For better understanding, I have compiled approximate size chart in centimetres

  6. Although to separate Karaavali from the above species, look at the following characteristics:

    • Full webbed toes (common to all skittering frogs)
    • Eye on top on the head (common to all skittering frogs)
    • Large tympanum (common to all skittering frogs)
    • Size; your four fingers together will make a Karaavali (Consider each finger’s width 2 cms)
    • Prominent supratympanic fold (skin wrinkle) extending from the ear to the shoulder
    • Shagreen colour on the back
    • Presence of granular tubercles on the back of the frog
    • Granular short spine-like tubercles from the eye all the way to the groin
    • Dark, blackish purple pair of vocal sacs
    • A dark green stripe on the flanks, extending from the supratympanic fold (starts right behind the tympanum/ear) and ends at the groin

Have a look at the video by CR Naik and Dr Gururaja KV here – 

If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here! And if you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook. Also please fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post. 

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#FridayFrogFact – What do frogs eat?

Last week I spent a couple of hours answering Quora questions on frogs and amphibians. While I answered questions like ‘Which is the biggest amphibian?’ or ‘Which are the most poisonous frogs?’, one question caught my attention a number of times – ‘What do frogs eat?’ 

Source: giphy.com

A lot of curious people on Quora are trying to answer the question as to what exactly do these small frogs (that often serve as food for others) eat. In my past workshops and talks, a number of people have asked me similar questions. So in this week’s Friday post, I will tell you’ll what are the various goodies they eat in the following points. But for the impatient among you all, a short answer to this FAQ could be – ‘Frogs eat pests- all kinds of pests’

Source: giphy.com
Source: giphy.com

A frog’s diet is mighty interesting. This article will be hugely helpful to understand what exactly is on a frog’s menu – 

  • Almost all frogs are largely carnivorous (i.e mainly insectivorous). They eat a variety of invertebrates and other small vertebrates.  
  • Although an exception to the above is a largely herbivorous frog known from India called the Indian Green Frog (Euphlyctus hexadactylus). 80% of this frog’s diet contains plant matter.
  • Burrowing frogs mainly feed on ants and termites. These globular bodied frogs burrow deep into the ground without any movement and with reduced physiological function- just as their names suggests! In order to maintain this kind of a lifestyle, they need a fat rich diet and ants and termites are a rich source of fat.
  • Some large frogs also feed on fish. An African frog (Aubria subsigillata) who leaps over water specializes on eating fish.
  • In the highlands of Kenya lives a special frog that feeds mainly on terrestrial snails and slugs. A book that I often read says that the frogs haven’t actually been observed eating snails but they possess extensive modifications of their skull bones and teeth that allow them to pull these sticky creatures from the rocks.
  • A frog that lives in the salty mudflats and can tolerate marine environments in the Southeast Asia eats crabs, Crab-eating frog (Fejervarya cancrivora).
  • Tadpoles on the other hand feed mainly on a vegetarian diet. They depend on algae that grow on the rocks and within the water streams.
  • The frog’s head and body size are directly proportional to the prey size. In other words, frogs that are large and have bigger heads will eat a variety of prey from tiny ants to large invertebrates and vice versa.  

Watch the following video to see a bull frog eat almost anything in front of it –

If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here! And if you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook. Also please fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post.

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#FridayFrogFact – Reflecting Back on 2016 with Frogs in Focus

Heartfelt thanks to each and every participant of “Frogs of Manipal’ club. We are now a brilliant gang of 133 frog lovin’ members! This informal club was created in October 2016 and team Frogs of Manipal (FoM) has made some awesome discoveries since then. So on this first Friday of 2017, let’s recap everything that we have achieved together in the last three months as team FoM –

  1. We surveyed various sectors of Manipal twice every week, taking the total count of our surveys to more than 20 in three months

    From giphy.com
    From giphy.com
  2. We documented about 5 road kills from across Manipal in the dry season

    Picture by Rahul SN
    Picture by Rahul SN
  3. We encountered and recorded an eyeless ‘Endangered’ frog – Uperedon mormorata

    Picture by Madhushri Mudke
    Picture by Madhushri Mudke
  4. We spent 21st Nov’16 cracking delightful frog jokes to have a good laugh together frogjokes
  5. We’ve participated in 3 polls – one each month; and we will continue with monthly polls to gauge the community’s opinions poll_
  6. We shared pictures of ‘Data Deficient’ frogs like the Western Tree Frog sitting on the walls of our hostels

    Picture by Rithika Kalidos
    Picture by Rithika Kalidos
  7. We encountered Nematode infection in an aquatic frog in October 2016

    Picture by Madhushri Mudke
    Picture by Madhushri Mudke
  8. We saw an amazing video of a Bull Frog escaping death right in our university’s backyard by Girish Rajannavar

     

  9. We launched #FridayFrogFact where we read, write and share frog blogs every week. We promise to continue doing this! pixabay.com
  10. We also took #FridayFrogFact to an international platform with a post being published in The Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR)

    giphy.com
    giphy.com
  11. Our team members from places away from Manipal showed their virtual support by sharing interesting scientific studies

    impinfofrog
    By Rishabh Birla
  12. With our outreach activities, we spoke about #NotJustFrogs to a total of 256 students- in Manipal and surrounding towns. The change in these kids’ perception of frogs – from ‘icky’ to ‘wow’ was heartwarming to say the least!

    Picture by Madhushri Mudke
    Picture by Madhushri Mudke
  13. We laughed and came up with intelligent strategies to come out of the ditch into which one of our team mate’s car went straight down on 26th Oct’16 as we wrapped up our regular frog walk

    From giphy.com
    From giphy.com
  14. That same day, we also saw a beautiful Scops Owl along with frogs

    Picture by Ashutosh Taparia
    Picture by Ashutosh Taparia
  15. We have successfully maintained high ethical standards within our team – thanks to our moderators and each one of us!

In the future, we will achieve a lot more together. We promise to continue our surveys throughout the year. We will also be conducting fun activities like ‘Frog Movie Nights’. We will continue writing frog blogs. I think, we should take a step into making some fun videos in 2017 to endorse FoM.

I am waiting for your ideas, suggestions and opinions that you think will help us improve in the coming year. Our objective as always, remains:

  1. To spread awareness about the frogs of Manipal
  2. To document abnormalities in frogs
  3. To document road kills across the town
  4. Come up with interesting strategies for conservation
  5. To promote living in harmony with frogs
  6. To change attitudes towards frogs as a whole
  7. To bring more people into this loving community – once they come to love frogs as much as we do!

Let’s welcome the New Year with gratitude and love towards all species on our planet!

Thank you from Team FoM <3

 

If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here! And if you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook. Also please fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post.
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#FridayFrogFact – 5 Awesome Frog Documentaries You Need To Watch This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here! Without any argument, it is the best season to find a comfortable couch, a warm blanket and some chocolate brownies. Watching Game of Thrones or Netflix is indeed a great idea while snuggling up, but I’d rather watch frog documentaries. Why? Because these have taken me on an awesome trip into the world beyond mine. The movies I have listed here are inspiring, intriguing and hair-raising all at the same time. I think, it is a brilliant idea to make use of the holiday season to learn something exciting while not compromising on the entertainment.  

Following are five of my favourite freely available films on frogs. Take my list and just watch the documentaries below, and soak up in the world that you have never imagined –

  1. Fabulous Frogs –

What’s it about? This is by far, my favourite frog documentary. Not only is it in Sir David Attenborough’s voice but it also tells you about every basic fact that you must know about these incredible lil’ creatures. The movie is a journey into a weird and cryptic world of frogs. It talks about their life histories, their extraordinary anatomies and their unbelievable breeding behaviours. The film shows colourful frogs from the rainforests that live high up in the canopy and glide down to the ground. It also features frozen frogs showcasing their extraordinary hibernation skills. Here’s a preview –

  1.    Frogs – The Thin Green Line

What’s it about? The deadly chytrid fungus that is spreading all over the world. Allison Argo, who is known for lending her voice to animals that cannot speak for themselves, has narrated and directed this movie. In her strong yet soothing voice, she stresses on the major concerns in the amphibian world. This video will take you on a roller-coaster ride and will get you thinking from the depths of your grey matter!

  1. Knights of the Monsoon – Frogs of Sharavathi Valley

What’s it about? The Frogs of Sharavathi Valley and the Western Ghats of India created by my dear friends Saurabh and Ramit. The documentary shows life in monsoons in the deep forests of India. It focuses on some endangered and endemic species of frogs. The creators broadcast a colourful and psychedelic journey into the lives of lesser known frog species while stressing on their importance in the ecosystem.

  1.  Deadly Poison Dart Frog?  

What’s it about? Coyote Peterson’s adventures have always fascinated me. This is one of my favourite episodes wherein he handles a poison dart frog. (Some poison frogs have skin toxins potentially dangerous to humans, and I do not encourage anyone to do stunts that Coyote does.) In this video, he handles the Granulated Poison Frog.

  1.  The Survival of the Earth Depends on Frogs: Jean-Marc Hero at TEDx at St Hilda’s School

What’s it about? Professor Jean-Marc Hero talks about the connections between human beings, frogs and the planet Earth. TED talks have always inspired me. And this talk is about something I truly believe in. Professor Jean-Marc’s presentation is inspiring and thought-provoking not only to students and professionals studying frogs but also to people from various other backgrounds. If any of the documentaries above have gotten you a tad bit interested in frogs, you must add this TED talk to your playlist and take a leap further in the world of frogs!

Happy Holiday and a very Happy New Year everyone! I hope you enjoyed that article. Stay tuned for more such amazing frog facts – we post every Friday!

This post was first published on Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR) read it here.

If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here! And if you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook. Also please fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post.
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#FridayFrogFact – These Mind-blowing Facts Will Convince You To Spend Your Christmas With Frogs

pixabay.com
  1. All amphibians lack scales and instead have a highly permeable skin (through which they breathe!). This differentiates them from reptiles. These vertebrates are divided further into three orders: Anura, Caudata/Urodela and Gymnophiona

    Picture Credits – Dreams Of Animals, Reptile Magazine (CRISTI180884/SHUTTERSTOCK), DKfindout.com
  2. Biologically speaking, different types of amphibians are amazingly different from one another. To make it a little more clear, a frog is as different from a salamander as a horse is from a bat!Source - pixabay.com
  3. Frogs have occupied almost every available habitat on earth except the sea and oceans, the distant oceanic islands and the frozen zones in the Arctic and Antarctic. They are seen in desserts for a limited period when there’s water and can tolerate temperatures up to minus 7 degrees for more than 3 months.
    Madhushri Mudke
  4. Triadobatrachus massinoti is modern frog’s oldest ancestor. This species lived in Madagascar about 250 million years ago.

    Credits – Pavel.Riha.CB at the English language Wikipedia
  5. Frogs help control the population of pests around you; the following poster by Vancouver Aquarium strikes the right chord.

    Poster by Vancouver Aquarium
  6. Amphibians are an enormously diverse group. They make a large proportion of living vertebrates, although mammals are often considered dominant. There are about 7,605 species of amphibians all around the world. India is home to about 399 species of amphibians – 358 are frogs, 39 caecilians and 2 salamanders according to Amphibian Web.Source - pixabay.com
  7. In 1997, the first ever fungal infection was reported in amphibians. It was named Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in 1999. In India, a report in 2011 by Dr Gururaja KV showed traces of fungal infection in Fejervarya caperata, a commonly occurring cricket frog.

    This picture appears in a report published in the scientific journal ‘Current Science’ in 2011 and cannot be reproduced elsewhere without explicit permission from the author!
  8. Till date, Bd has been responsible for wiping out more than 200 species of amphibians. Yes, sadly these species will probably never be seen again.
  9. Toughie, the Frog – Toughie, was the last living individual of Rabbs’ fringe-limbed treefrog (Ecnomiohyla rabborum). In July 2013, National Geographic featured him in their magazine and made him a star. He and his fellow mates were the victims of the deadly Bd fungus. He was captured in Panama in 2005 by scientists trying to save his species from dying. He then lived in captivity in Georgia. Despite all efforts to save this rare species, Toughie died a tragic death on 26th September 2016. Toughie was and will always remain a star- the last of his kind, mourned by the world that killed his species.

    Brian Gratwicke from DC, USA for Wiki
  10. Amphibians, especially frogs and toads are considered to be the best bioindicators of the health of the environment. In spite of their importance a higher proportion of amphibians is threatened; they require immediate attention if we are to save them!
    Have a look at the graph below –
Source - The Ecology and Behavior of Amphibians by Kentwood D. Wells
Source – The Ecology and Behavior of Amphibians by Kentwood D. Wells

Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoyed that article. Stay tuned for more such amazing frog facts – we post every Friday!

If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here! And if you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook. Also please fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post.

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#FridayFrogFact – Five Beautiful Frog Quotes!

img_20161202_220329224

The toad’s lullaby note comes from the far margin, sweeter than all others. . . . This song has been compared to the slow opening movement of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’.

Mary C. Dickerson, The Frog Book (1906) 

Amphibia are cold-blooded; they lack the mechanisms which give the higher types both freedom from environmental change and constancy of chemical activity at the optimum conditions for the expenditure of their energies. . . . Hence their energy sources, the food and oxygen, are made available at a much slower rate in these forms. . . . Amphibia are not able to make use, to the fullest extent, of either their nervous or their motor systems. They remain slaves of their surroundings.

G. Kingsley Noble, The Biology of the Amphibia (1931)  

The typical amphibian is still chained to the water. In the water it is born; to the water it must periodically return. We have noted various devices among living amphibians which have enabled them to circumvent this difficulty to some extent. But these makeshifts have not been particularly successful. The amphibian is . . . in many respects, little more than a peculiar type of fish which is capable of walking on land

Alfred Sherwood Romer, The Vertebrate Story (1959)  

These world-filling, mind-altering choruses of spring peepers have no equal in the northeastern landscape. There is talk now of the silence of the frogs, of their striking diebacks, and declines and the disappearance of species globally. . . . It is a silencing that has taken other voices than those of frogs, as well as voiceless presences, all inevitably vanishing with the disappearance of the places in which they must live

David M. Carroll, Swampwalker’s Journal (1999)

The sound, which the scientific books describe as “croaking,” floats far and wide, and produces a beautiful, mysterious effect on a still evening when the last heavy-footed labourer has trudged home to his tea, leaving the world to darkness and to me.

W. H. Hudson, The Book of a Naturalist (1919)

Stay tuned, more next week! If you have missed any of the #FridayFrogFact posts – Read them here

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#FridayFrogFact – These Bamboo Bush Frogs Have a Unique Mating Strategy

capture_white-spottedfrog
White-spotted Bush Frog (Raorchestes chalazodes)

In many human cultures around the world, frogs have long been associated with fertility and breeding. This is because of their association with life-giving water. Right from Egypt to India to the Mayan region in North America, people have considered frogs to be the symbols of fertility. Heqet, an Egyptian goddess of fertility is represented in the form of a frog.

ochlandrae300
Ochlandra-reed Bush Frog (Raorchestes Ochlandrae)

That being said, reproduction in amphibians wasn’t well understood until the eighteenth century. But today we know a lot more about frog reproduction. Adult frogs vocalize to be noticed by females. After unique courtship ritual they bear offsprings by laying eggs near water. These eggs develop into tadpoles – tiny little creatures with tails who spend their entire life in water. The tadpoles metamorphose into adult frogs. After tremendous efforts from biologists from all around the world, novel breeding behaviors are being documented (read Breeding Behaviour of the Kumbhara Night Frog). Amphibians, especially frogs, show remarkable reproductive strategies. The Ochlandra-reed bush frog (Raochestes ochlandrae) and the White-spotted bush frog (Raorchestes chalozodes) also exhibit one such unique breeding trait. These stunning bush frogs are endemic to the Western Ghats of India. They belong to the Rhacophoridae family of anurans (frogs and toads collectively). See below: 

Picture Credits - A Pictorial Guide to Frogs and Toads of Western Ghats ; Mr. David V. Raju ; Ansil B. R.
Picture Credits – Pictorial Guide to Frogs and Toads of Western Ghats ; Mr. David V. Raju ; Ansil B. R.

The Ochlandra-reed bush frog was described in 2007 from the Waynaad hill ranges. This stunning frog was seen living within hollow bamboo stems. Another frog from the same genus, the White-spotted bush frog was considered extinct till very recently. But in 2011, it was rediscovered by a team of passionate researchers.

If the strange looks of the reed frog and the rediscovery of an extinct frog wasn’t fascinating enough, then the following facts about their breeding habits will blow your mind –

  1. They both lay their eggs inside the hollows of Bamboo stems – In the bamboo plant, the stems are the structures that you see above the ground. These star-eyed frogs lay their eggs inside the stems. But I am sure you know that the bamboo stems are really hard, piercing through would be impossible for a tiny frog. If that’s the case, then how do these tiny frogs enter inside? Well, they are smarter than you think- they use ready-made oval openings created by rodents and insects! The following video is sure to cause your jaws to drop –http://amphibiaweb.org/sounds/Raorchestes_chalazodes12.mp4
  2. There are NO tadpoles – The process by which their young ones hatch is called ‘direct development’. These frogs skip the free-swimming tadpole stage by developing into tadpoles inside the eggs. When the eggs hatch; a fully developed froglet emerges – like the one in the picture below!

    A tiny frog-let emerges out of an egg
    A tiny froglet emerges out of an egg
  3. ‘Direct Development’ demands less water – Bypassing the tadpole stage gives them the advantage that lets them survive in conditions that have very less water. This adaptation might just be the reason behind their evolutionary and ecological success.
  4. They show parental care – Among frogs, parental care is highly uncommon. But it has been noted in frogs that show direct development. This fascinating characteristic allows higher chances of survival of their offspring. Parental care can be provided in various forms like egg attendance, egg transport, tadpole attendance, tadpole feeding, etc. These frogs take to attending to the eggs inside the bamboo cavity. 

    An adult frog sits attending its egg inside the bamboo stem
    An adult frog sits attending its eggs inside the bamboo stem
  5. Similar reproduction but different bamboo preferences – Although the frogs demonstrate  similar modes of reproduction, they prefer different species of bamboo plants. The reason for this isn’t clear but could be associated with their distribution within the Western Ghats. The two species show no overlap and are separated by a physical barrier – Palghat Gap. The Ochlandra-reed frog prefers bamboo plant called the Ochlandra setigera. The White-spotted frog (Critically Endangered according to IUCN) however breeds in a bamboo species – Ochlandra travancorica commonly called the Indian-reed Bamboo or Elephant Bamboo. This plant is used extensively for commercial purposes like making flutes and in the paper and pulp industry.330px-ochlandra_scriptoria_plant

 

As you can see – these 2 species of frogs have really fascinating (and at the same time extremely unique) reproductive habits. I’m sure you now see why I absolutely adore Bush Frogs. Are you equally in love with these wonderful lil’ froggies? Tell me more in the comments!

PS: Unless otherwise stated the pictures used here appear in the scientific paper published in Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (2014); Dr Gururaja KV and Mr Seshadri KS are the copyright holders. These pictures/videos CANNOT be reproduced elsewhere without explicit permission from the owners!

PPS: Stay tuned for more such amazing frog posts- we post every Friday!
If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here!

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#FridayFrogFact – The ‘Pig-nosed’ Purple Frog

A bloated frog with it’s roots in the Seychelles and Madagascar was discovered in Kerala in 2003 by Dr SD Biju. It has a pig-like snout, glossy slimy skin, a drab purple colored body and yes it’s a frog (although it really doesn’t look like one). A combination of features such as this would be sure to creep out any normal human being- but not us researchers. With looks like this, it’s not surprising that this frog (doesn’t it remind you of a walrus?) has made it to BBC’s list of 8 ugly looking animals that needs conservation.

Picture by Dr SD Biju, University of Delhi
Picture by Dr SD Biju!

No matter how hard I try to portray this frog more beautifully, I think I’ll fail. So I will stick to stating interesting and unique facts about this endangered frog:

  • The frog lives about 12 feet below the ground in holes in the ground that it digs for itself (Be sure to carry a small stick before you go out on a hunt to find this lil’ weirdo!)
  • This species is known from only 2 localities (both in Kerala) in the entire world. It is categorized as ‘Endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature   
  • The female lays about 3600 eggs at a time (yes! You read that right!) and the eggs hatch in about 100 days
  • The tadpoles of this frog use their snouts to cling onto rocks of fast flowing streams
  • Tribal communities in and around the forests in Kerala have been reported to consume these endangered tadpoles as a delicacy (such a shame ain’t it? We really should educate them to abandon this harmful tradition)
  • A single meal for a family of four would comprise of about 300 tadpoles with rice or tapioca
  • And lastly, a mating pair of this fascinating species would be the weirdest thing you’d ever see – check it out below and be amazed!
The one on top is the male. Isn’t this the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen :D ?
The one on top is the male frog. Isn’t this the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen 😀 ?

Hope with these facts you have learned about yet another mind blowing frog species. This frog hasn’t been reported from any protected area making conservation of areas within it’s range extremely important.

More Videos –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhcsXT3sOZU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSX_ZJoFXSQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj8mG5uHFWM&t=103s

More Info –

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/58051/0

http://www.wwfindia.org/about_wwf/priority_species/lesser_known_species/purple_frog/

http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2014/02/19/animals-science-purple-frogs-india-calls/

http://www.strangeanimals.info/2014/09/indian-purple-frog-pignosed-frog.html

Stay tuned for more such amazing frog posts – we post every Friday!
If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here!

If you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook.

Also fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post. Don’t forget to follow Not-Just-Frogs campaign with Roots and Shoots by Dr Jane Goodall – here.

Now go and croak it out (read share this article) to the entire world on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts in the comments 🙂

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