Nyctibatrachusmewasinghi: New Night Frog Species Discovered in Western Ghats (Download PDF)

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Scientists discovered new species of frog named Mewa Singh՚s night frog (Nyctibatrachusmewasinghi) in Kozhikode՚s Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala in Western Ghats in small stream running along the Peruvannamuzhi dam. It is latest contribution to spurt in amphibian discoveries across India.

Key Facts About Mewa Singh՚s Night Frog

  • The new night frog species is light brown in colour with an off-white underside.
  • It sports faintly wrinkled skin with prominent granular projections.
  • It is known only from Peruvannamuzhi in Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary in a small stream running along Peruvannamuzhi dam.
  • Frog՚s genetically closest relatives are
    1. Athirappilly night frog (found south of Palakkad Gap in Idukki and Thrissur)
    2. Kempholey night frog (found in Western Ghats of Karnataka and northern Kerala) .
  • Morphologically, it can be distinguished from its similar-looking and genetically close relatives by several physical characteristics, including pattern of its webbed fingers and toes.
  • The frog has been named after wildlife scientist Mewa Singh, in honour of his contributions to behavioural ecology and primate studies.
    Nyctibatrachus Mewasingh

    Background

  • Since many frogs in genus Nyctibatrachus look similar, scientists used both physical characteristics as well as genetic methods to confirm frog as new species.
  • Using tissue samples of 10 collected specimens of newly discovered species, scientists analysed portions of two genes and found that it varied enough from other closely-related species to make it different species.

Kozhikode՚s Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located along the Western Ghats and spread across 74 square kilometres in Chakkittapara and Koorachundu villages, Kerala.
  • The sanctuary is part of the Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot.
  • It also comes under the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and forms a part of the Wayanad Elephant Reserve
Map of Kozhikode՚s Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary

Recent Discoveries in the Amhibian World

A PhD student from Delhi University has discovered four new species of burrowing frogs in the Western Ghats. They include

  • Maohrahan՚s Burrowing Frog discovered in the Agasthyamala Hills in south Kerala
  • Kadar Burrowing Frog, discovered in the Vazhachal forest in Kerala
  • CEPF Burrowing Frog found in Amboli in Maharashtra
  • Neil՚s Cox Burrowing Frog found in the Parambikulam tiger reserve in Kerala

- Published/Last Modified on: February 11, 2018

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