‘Frogs of Manipal’ is Now a Book

Dear friends, readers and wildlifers,

Here’s something that has made my new year very special (and hopefully yours as well!). I have published a pocket guidebook to help identify common frogs around the stunning town of Manipal. ‘Frogs of Manipal’ was launched as a campaign in the year 2016 to raise awareness and bring amphibians into the limelight. It was supported by the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) and the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR). But it is the enthusiastic and nature loving locals and students of Manipal who have taken it to a whole new level. 

Copyrights Madhushri Mudke
Cover page
Copyrights Madhushri Mudke
Inside

This guidebook has photographs, common and scientific names and habitats for the frogs we find in and around Manipal. It is my sincere hope that the guide shall serve as invaluable in helping everyone identify frogs (cryptic species) in and around their backyards.

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Who it’s for?

  • Locals living in the university town of Manipal
  • Students and citizen scientists living in Manipal
  • Naturalists, wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, animal lovers, wildlife/nature photographers, biologists, students, scientists and citizen scientists all over the globe

On a side note: This booklet is relevant to everyone who’s interested (or looking to start getting interested) in frogs! The frogs we find in Manipal are also present at several other places in the Western Ghats.

What’s in it for you to learn?

This guidebook shall help you understand that a tiny university town on the coasts of India is home to a rich population of amphibian species. Documenting these cryptic species that are generally linked to monsoons is a tough job for scientists. People like you, i.e all environment/nature-loving citizens and locals have made documentation and action-oriented conservation possible. With this booklet in hand, we are now a step closer to understanding the environment that we all share. So grab your copy soon!

Is it helpful?

To understand whether this guide has done what’s it meant to, is a difficult question for me to answer. So I have two requests for you (puppy face):

  1. Leave me a comment and let me know
  2. Help me spread the word so that your friends, relatives and others can help improve the second edition of this guide

I cannot wait to hear back from you. Write to me personally using this form on my About Me page or leave a comment here.

Wishing you a very happy 2018.

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#FridayFrogFact – Malabar Wart Frog (Fejervarya rufescens)

fej rufscens 2I encountered the Malabar Wart Frog (Fejervarya rufescens) during my surveys on the edges of Pushpagiri Wildlife Reserve. I was sitting on the edge of a beautiful freshwater stream admiring the lush green vegetation around me. Shoals of Bi-coloured frogs’ tadpoles swam and fed on algae in the stream. It was a beautiful sight! Suddenly, a tiny frog that came hopping from behind me caught my eye. It took one last jump and found a comfortable place at the base of a river weed in the shallow waters of the stream. I tilted my head forwards to make eye contact with my new frog friend. Its eyes resembled that of a fish and its overall appearance was that of a toad. I sat quietly without any movement for the next fifteen minutes taking down important notes on its habitat and the surrounding temperature and humidity. While I continued to look at it, it sat there patiently without any movement as though it were imitating me! After about twenty minutes of being frozen, I was reminded that I am in an active elephant territory and must return to my base before it gets dark. I decided to take a couple of pictures and started trekking back thinking about this bizarre frog that I had just encountered. fej rufescens

After getting home, I scanned through all the available scientific literature that I could get my hands on. Forty-eight hours later, I had made my list of interesting facts about this lesser known creature –

  • Fejervaryan frogs belong to the family called Dicroglossidae. Dicroglossid frogs are sometimes called as ‘true frogs’ given its appearance and range of distribution. They are all mostly small, brown coloured, ground dwelling creatures. They live under leaf litter on the forest floors, in paddy fields or on the edges of freshwater streams.
  • Here’s a list of all Fejervaryan frogs in India in the table below. The Western Ghats alone are home to sixteen species of these ground-dwelling frogs. The ones marked with an asterisk (*) are from the Western Ghats.
Scientific Name Common Name Distribution IUCN Status
Fejervarya andamanensis Andaman Wart Frog South Andaman Island, India. (Andaman Islands) Least Concern
Fejervarya brevipalmata* Pegu Wart Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Data Deficient
Fejervarya cancrivora Crab-eating Frog Coastal southern China in Guangxi and Hainan Provinces, Great Nicobar Island in India, most countries in Southeast Asia. Introduced In New Guinea. Least Concern
Fejervarya caperata* Wrinkled Cricket Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India (Widespread) Not Evaluated
Fejervarya chilapata Jaldapara District in West Bengal State, India. (Chilapata Reserve Forest) Not Evaluated
Fejervarya gomantaki* Goan Fejervarya Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India particularly Goa in The Northern Western Ghats Not Evaluated
Fejervarya granosa*  Granular Fejervarya Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Not Evaluated
Fejervarya greenii Montane Frog Central hills of Sri Lanka and Karnataka, India. Endangered
Fejervarya keralensis* Kerela Warty Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India (known from the states of Karnataka, Kerela and Tamil Nadu) Least Concern
Fejervarya kudremukhensis* Kudremukh Cricket Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India (known from Karnataka) Not Evaluated
Fejervarya modestus* Moluccas Wart Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Not Evaluated
Fejervarya mudduraja* Mudduraja Cricket Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Not Evaluated
Fejervarya murthii* Murthy’s Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Critically Endangered
Fejervarya mysorensis* Mysore Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Data Deficient
Fejervarya nilagirica* Nilgiris Wart Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India. (Wayanad in Kerala and the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu) Endangered
Fejervarya nepalensis Nepal Wart Frog Nagaland (where it is widely distributed) and West Siang District, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Also present in Nepal and southern and southeastern Bangladesh. Least Concern
Fejervarya nicobariensis Nicobar Frog Nicobar Islands, India Endangered
Fejervarya orissaensis Orissa Frog Orissa, India. Least Concern
Fejervarya parambikulamana* Parambikulum Wart Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India (Palakkad, Kerala) Data Deficient
Fejervarya pierrei Pierre’s Cricket Frog Nepal, and southern and southeastern Bangladesh Least Concern
Fejervarya rufescens* Malabar Wart Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India (Whole of Malabar Coast) Least Concern
Fejervarya sahyadris* Minevarya Frog Endemic to Western Ghats. Restricted to Gundia in Karnataka, and Calicut and adjoining areas in Kerala, India Endangered
Fejervarya sauriceps* Mysore Wart Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Data Deficient
Fejervarya sengupti Northeastern, India Not Evaluated
Fejervarya teraiensis Terai Wart Frog Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, India. Also known from southern Nepal and Bangladesh Least Concern
Fejervarya syhadrensis* Southern Cricket Frog Central northern India and western peninsular India, southern Nepal, eastern Pakistan (from lower Punjab, Sindh) and Bangladesh. Least Concern
  • How to identify Fejervaryan frogs? Look for the following characteristics:
    – Small size (3 – 5 centimeters)
    – Colour that is usually drab brownish and dull overall
    – Habitat: Usually found on the forest floors, on leaf litters and paddy fields.
    – They are active all year round.
    – All these frogs will have ‘Fejervaryan Lines’ (Two delicate longitudinal lines on the underside of the sides of the abdomen. The line begins at the groin.)
    – The tympanum (disk-like structure behind the eye) is small.
    – Toes do not have any pads or dilated discs.
  • The Malabar Wart Frog (Fejervarya rufescens) was first described in 1853 by Jerdon. Since then it has gone through major taxonomic changes, from being called Zakerana to being called Fejervarya in 2015.
  • This frog is a robust, reddish brown of about 4.5 centimetres. The snout is blunt and the dorsum of the frog has irregular warty skin folds that give it a toad-like appearance.
  • In the non-breeding season, it is overall brownish with irregular black markings. Whereas in the breeding season the frog dons a sun-kissed reddish hue overall.
  • It also has an inner and outer digging apparatus (a shovel like structure that enables them to dig in the ground) on its hind limbs.

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.

Now go and croak it out (read share this article) to the entire world on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sharing the #FridayFrogFact with your friends on social media is a great idea to show your love for these species <3 

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#FridayFrogFact – The largest tadpoles in India!


I sat looking at the misty mountains of the Western Ghats, appreciating the landscape of Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. A slow moving stream beside me changed its colour as the sun rose from behind the mountains shining its dim orange light. I glanced at the beautiful vegetation around the stream. The leaves are laden with silvery dew drops. The stream is home to numerous tadpoles and fish signifying the freshness of the flowing water. I was taken back to my childhood memories of catching tadpoles in my cupped hands. Since the largest tadpoles in India are those of the Bicoloured frog – we will be talking about them in this #FridayFrogFact!

The Bicoloured frog (Clinotarsus curtipes) is a medium sized (7.4 cms) frog living on the leaf litter of forest floors and is endemic to the Western Ghats. In the non-breeding season the frog dons a dual-coloured attire of olive-gray back and black sides. Whereas in the breeding season that is from June to October, it turns golden reddish yellow with a patch of red on its shoulders. According to IUCN the frog is categorised as a ‘Near Threatened’ species but this requires an update because it is distributed across many more states than the ones we already know about.

Picture by Arun Achappa
Picture by Arun Achappa

Tadpoles of the Bicoloured frog are large, black, wriggly creatures with tails. They are found at the base of freshwater streams and ponds, all year round. These tadpoles are a common sight if you have wandered around the Western Ghats. As a child, these tadpoles were probably the first creatures that I got home and stored in plastic bottles. Eventually all of them died. I had no intentions to kill them but I was too immature to understand how their life functions. None of my family members knew about my affair with them so they too could not guide me on how to keep my lil’ tadpoles alive. Recently, when I came across these tadpoles during my expeditions I spent some time observing them very closely. I knew that there is more to these tiny creatures than what I observed so I decided to dig deeper. Five hours later, I was done compiling this list of the top interesting facts about them-

  1. The Bicolored frog tadpoles are the largest known tadpoles in India – now isn’t that something! They can grow up to 7-10 centimetres whereas an adult frog is only about 7 centimetres.
  2. The mouth of this tadpole is large and has horny teeth. There can up to 15 rows of teeth split between the upper and lower half of the mouth.
  3. The tadpoles usually live in small tanks or slow moving streams. They swim from their birthplace to other micro habitats and keep wandering till they metamorphose into frogs.
  4. Studies say that predator fish might not feed on these tadpoles. The tadpoles secrete toxins which makes them unpalatable.
  5. These tadpoles possess a pair of paratoid glands behind the eyes. Paratoid glands are warts containing high concentrations of toxins.
  6. A supra-caudal gland is present above the tail.
  7. It has been reported that these glands secrete a white (toxic) fluid when handled which is why predators might not feed on them!

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.

Now go and croak it out (read share this article) to the entire world on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sharing the #FridayFrogFact with your friends on social media is a great idea to show your love for these species <3 

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How To Show Your Love Towards Frogs On This Valentine’s Day

giphy

In this season of love, let’s come together to show our affection towards these lesser known species on earth – frogs! Well, the topic might not seem too interesting at the first place but do read – Why I Love Frogs and Why You Should Too, which will convince you to love them! If that’s not enough, sit back because an Ebook on the same topic will be coming your way very soon. 

In today’s post, I have made a list of DIYs for you. The following list will help you take your first steps towards helping frogs. If you have already been doing one or two of these, make sure to continue your awesome work. Do join the #NotJustFrogs campaign here – https://www.rootsandshoots.org/project/notjustfrogs-part-l 

Here’s an exhaustive list of things to do on this Valentine’s day to show your love towards frogs. Trust me, when I say these tinies will give you more happiness than anything else. Also, it is quite interesting that most of the items listed here can be done right from your PC or your smartphone. Don’t forget to score yourself with one point for each item. Let’s see who scores the maximum?! 

giphy frog smile

 

  1. Be compassionate towards frogs. Let them live. Compassion is the first step towards conservation and sustainable living.
  2. Educate yourself and learn about frogs found in your region. 
  3. Start observing frogs, they aren’t as slimy as you think they are! If you happen to look into their eyes you’d probably fall in love.  
  4. Download the FrogFind app to learn about common frogs and toads in the Western Ghats of India
  5. Post your frog pictures on FrogWatch (India) and for other regions here and here
  6. Stop eating ‘frog legs’ and tell your friends as well! Why you may ask? Because frogs are being pushed into extinction sooner than you might know of. Read more – https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/aug/07/frogs-legs-extinction
  7. Post pictures of frogs from your neighbourhood on social media. This will help spread love towards these species. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #NotJustFrogs
  8. Draw a frog and share your drawings with the world.
  9. Write a haiku or a short poem on frogs.
  10. Reserve a tiny pond for frogs in your yard. Keep a close eye on them 😉giphy thumbs up
  11. Do not stock up non-native fish species in your ponds or rivers. If you see such an activity take a step and spread the word to stop this! (be sure to read the next #FridayFrogFact to know why!)
  12. Buy a frog tee shirt and roam in style – https://shop.savethefrogs.com/index.html
  13. Start raising funds for frogs – if you are an organisation or a media body, get in touch with NGOs or campaigners to conduct an awareness drive in your town. An off-beat topic like frogs can actually pull masses quite effectively.
  14. Help build ‘Batrachariums
  15. Volunteer in your free time to save frogs. Whatever is your skill set, we can use it to spread frog love.
  16. Donate money to NGOs and organisations that are working to save the frogs.
  17. Invite me to speak on – ‘Why I Love Frogs and Why You Should Too’
  18. Participate in citizen science projects like Frog Watch.
  19. Prevent roadkills by driving slow on moist monsoon nights.
  20. Help in documenting frog road kills. If you encounter a dead frog on the road, make sure you report it here or post it on our facebook group.
  21. Keep an eye on this space and participate in our upcoming events.
  22. If you find an abnormal frog, like an individual without an eye or a limb, an infection or dead with unknown cause report it via Facebook groups or get in touch here.
  23. Become a volunteer for the #NotJustFrogs campaign. Please contact – madhushri06@gmail.com
  24. Reduce-Reuse-Recycle – Reduce use of chemicals/pesticides, reuse plastic and metal, recycle whatever you can!
  25. Buy organic, go local and become vegan (if possible)
  26. Reduce wastage of resources – water, electricity, fuel, etc. (Check out utilitysavingexpert.com  which helps you do just that. )
  27. Follow – #FridayFrogFacts and share them with your friends.

giphy woohoo frog

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.

Now go and croak it out (read share this article) to the entire world on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sharing the #FridayFrogFact with your friends on social media is a great idea to show your love for these species <3 

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#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.

Now go and croak it out (read share this article) to the entire world on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sharing the #FridayFrogFact with your friends on social media is a great idea to show your love for these species <3

 

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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.

giphy_microhyla
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
    microhyla final
  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 scientistsScreen Shot 2017-01-25 at 7.08.04 PM
  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: 

IMAG0880_1-1

microhyla

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.

Now go and croak it out (read share this article) to the entire world on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sharing the #FridayFrogFact with your friends on social media is a great idea to show your love for these species <3

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

Source : Giphy.com

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.

Source : Giphy.com

 

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.
    karaavali
  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
    giphy_confusing frog
  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
    Size frog full
  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. 

Now go and croak it out (read share this article) to the entire world on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sharing the #FridayFrogFact with your friends on social media is a great idea to show your love for these species <3

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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.

Now go and croak it out (read – share this article) to the entire world on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sharing the #FridayFrogFact with your friends on social media is a great idea to show your love for these species <3

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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.
Now go and croak it out (read share this article) to the entire world on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sharing the #FridayFrogFact with your friends on social media is a great idea to show your love for these species <3

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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.
Now go and croak it out (read share this article) to the entire world on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sharing the #FridayFrogFact with your friends on social media is a great idea to show your love for these species <3

Continue Reading