Rare frog found in Kerala, feasts on termites

December 22nd, 2008 - 5:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Thrissur (Kerala), Dec 22 (IANS) A rare purple frog - a specie said to be on the verge of extinction - is now in the possession of Kerala scientists who are treating it to a feast of termites and ants.The frog - only the 10th to be found since 2003 when the specie was first spotted in the state - is being kept at the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI).

Also known as the pignose, the frog was found by a person who was cleaning up his land to plant tuber crops near here earlier this month. Its scientific name is Nasikabatrachus Sahyadrensis.

“The man saw a strange looking frog and got in touch with us and we went and collected it. We have created an artificial environment for this nearly extinct variety which is endemic to the Western Ghats. It is a frog that lives underground and comes up only for breeding,” said K.K. Ramachandran, chief of the KFRI Wildlife Biology Division.

“The first time it was sighted was in 2003 by two KFRI scientists at Katapana in Idukki district at an altitude of 900 metres. The highlight at the sighting earlier this month near here was that it was found at an altitude of 66 metres,” added Ramachandran.

The frog has a swollen body and a small head and a protruding nose by which it can be clearly identified.

The latest pignose frog weighs 142.3 gm and is close to eight centimetres in length. Scientists are treating their new guests to termites and ants which the frog likes the most.

According to Ramachandran, the frog is “a living fossil” and is similar to the frog family named Sooglossidae found in the Seychelles Islands.

Related Stories

    Posted in Uncategorized |