Recently, a new species of skittering frog has been identified from the surroundings of the Thattekkad bird sanctuary.
About the new species of skittering frog
- The new species is named as Euphlyctis Kerala in honour of the remarkable biodiversity of the State, which is also known for many endemic species of frogs.
- This discovery was a part of the Zoological Survey of India’s (WGRC, Kozhikode) faunal exploratory and documentation programme in the Thattekad bird sanctuary.
- Initial studies suggest that the new species Euphlyctis Kerala is known to be found in the fresh water bodies of the foothills of the Western Ghats, south of the Palakkad Gap.
- Since these frogs live in fresh water bodies, conservation of these freshwater systems plays a crucial role in conservation of the species as well as species populations.
- Although multiple skittering frogs have been described from India for almost two centuries (since 1799), the taxonomic mess within this group created a lot of confusion due to “morphological character crypticity”
- Members of the genus Euphlyctis (skittering frogs) have their distribution range from Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand.
- Earlier, skittering frog species known from India were thought to be widespread across other countries, but with the help of the new work, these problems are resolved showing some of the frogs as endemic to India.
- As of now, Kerala is known to have 180 species of frogs.
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