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9 New Frog Species Discovered in Western Ghats Region of India

December 12, 2014



Researcher S. P. Vijayakumar of the National Centre for Biological Sciences has been studying distribution patterns of herps in India and the Nicobar archipelago for more than a decade and began cataloging the new frog species in 2008, the first year that he began discovering them. The frogs are called bush frogs and are tiny, some of which can fit on a man’s thumb. The frogs all belong to the genus Raorchestes, the BBC reports.


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raorchestes flaviocularis

S. P. Vijayakumar

Raorchestes flaviocularis.

R. flaviocularis is particularly strking in coloration, with a yellow mottled look on its back and legs with a pinkish bottom. This frog was first found sitting on the leaves of trees in a forest on a tea estate. 

R. aureus sports golden eyes and a beige-colored back. It was discovered living in grasslands in 2010.

 

R. aureus

S. P. VIJAYAKUMAR

R. aureus.

R. primarrumpfi was all found to be living in grasslands and swamps. It is noted for the gold coloration at the top of its eye and is named after Gondwanaland, a continent that once existed in what is now the Western Ghats. 

 

R. primarrumpfi

S. P. VIJAYAKUMAR

R. primarrumpfi.

Raorchestes echinatus features ridges on its back and also lives in grasslands. It was discovered in 2011.

 

Raorchestes echinatus

S. P. VIJAYAKUMAR

Raorchestes echinatus.

 R. emeraldi is the largest of the frogs Vijayakumar discovered, measuring in at a whopping 5 centimeters. It has a green back and legs with spots of yellow and purplish armpits. 

 

 R. emeraldi

S. P. VIJAYAKUMAR

 R. emeraldi.

R. leucolatus is found on the forest floor amongst leaf litter. It is dark brown in coloration with white spots and orange tipped toes.

 

R. leucolatus

S. P. VIJAYAKUMAR

R. leucolatus.

 

R. archeos, discovered in 2010 is light brown in coloration with a hint of beige and a darker head and belly. Its arms are half black and half brown, likely a form of camouflage to blend in the area in which it inhabits.

 

R. archeos

S. P. VIJAYAKUMAR

R. archeos.

R. blandus lives in the forests under shrub litter. First discovered in 2008, R. blandus is known for its frog call, which is latin for pleasant.

 

R. blandus

S. P. VIJAYAKUMAR

R. blandus.

R. indigo can be found on leaf litter on the forest floor and is so named for its indigo coloration on its side bellies and legs. It is green and yellow on top and features irregular black spots.  

 

R. indigo

S. P. VIJAYAKUMAR

R. indigo.

Led by S. P. Vijayakumar, the other researchers noted for the discovery include K. P. Dinesh, Mrugank V. Prabhu, and Kartik Shanker. An abstract of the discovery and study can be found on the Zootaxa website


John B. Virata keeps a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata 

 

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