Pig-Like Indian Purple Frog Calls To Mates Underground

February 20, 2014

The Indian purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis), an endangered species that can be found in the Western Ghats region of India is unique in that there is no other frog that looks like it or acts like it. Also known as the pig-nosed frog due to its pig-like snout, the Indian purple frog lives out the vast majority of its life undeground, burrowing as much as 12 feet below ground. It only comes to the surface during the pre-monsoon season to breed, attracting mates by calling out to them. But unlike other frogs, the Indian purple frog starts his call from underground, buried under the dirt. They make their calls near tunnels where females tend to congregate.


Scientists with the University of Dehli and the University of Minnesota set out to document the first acoustical and statistical analysis of the frog calls of Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis. In their study, they detailed and recorded 10 males that belted out 19 acoustically different sounds during 208 calls. They then compared their findings with that of other fossorial and sooglosid frogs, marking the first time the call of the Indian purple frog was documented.
The Indian purple frog, first described in October 2003, is the only known species in its family (Nasikabatrachidae) and is evolutionarily tied to frogs that can be found only in the Seychelles island archipelago. The frog feeds on termites that it finds underground. It comes to the surface for about two weeks out of the year during the pre-monsoon rains to mate. 


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