Unusual frogs of the Western Ghats

  • Somewhere hidden in a tiny patch of forest in the Western Ghats (the precise place I cannot reveal, to protect the endangered species) we knew existed one of the world’s oddest and rarest frogs.
  • The Indian purple frog, Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis, is as old as the dinosaur and looks a lot like a glob of jelly. It has a tiny head, a pointed snout like a shrew’s. And it spends most of the year buried underground, emerging on just one day to breed.
  • In another nook in the Western Ghats, in India’s most endangered Myristica swamp forests, we went looking for the legendary antics of the torrent frog (Micrixalus kottigeharensis) — nicknamed the ‘dancing frog’ by ecologist Gururaja K.V. The swamps here are perennial and perfect for these frogs that are stream-dependent. 
  • The kumbara night frog. Its family is one of the three oldest families of frogs in the Western Ghats, dating back to about 90 million years.
  • The kumbara night frog or Nyctibatrachus kumbara displays something even more human than dancing: it dabbles in a bit of pottery!

Leave a Reply