Indian Frog Lays Eggs Inside Bamboo

October 28, 2014

Frogs lay eggs in water, dirt, puddles of water located in plants and some even keep them on their back until they become froglets. But did you know that one species of frog,  the white-spotted bush frog (Raorchestes chalazodes) lays its eggs in live bamboo that have narrow openings? 


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According to a research paper published in The Linnean Society of London's Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, this type of reproductive strategy is known to occur in just two species of frog, the white spotted bush frog and the Ochlandra reed frog (Raorchestes ochlandrae. What makes this story even more interesting is the fact that the white spotted bush frog, until very recently, was thought to have been extinct for the last 100 years. A recent discovery of specimens in wet evergreen forests in the Western Ghats region of the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve reversed that notion. Now the frog is known to take a novel reproductive approach. 

The frog, which grows to about 25mm in length, climbs into the bamboo opening (some which are 5 to 10 mm in length and 3 to 4mm wide) and deposit their eggs in the opening. The researchers also noted that the frogs don’t deposit their eggs in bamboo that have openings at the top of the shoot, but rather in bamboo that have openings in the base of the stalk. They speculate that the frogs know that openings at the top may result in the eggs or froglets getting flooded with water, killing the amphibians. 

The white spotted bush frog is critically endangered in its native range with just small known populations in five areas of the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. Couple this with the unregulated harvesting of bamboo for bamboo products, and it is a recipe for disaster for this frog. The research was conducted from July 2011 to October 2012 by Mr. Seshadri K S, a Ph.D student, and Assistant Professor David Bickford from the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Science.

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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