#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.

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