Thumbnail-sized new Frog species discovered
Mar 11, 2016
A team of researchers from India and the National University of Singapore (NUS) has discovered a new thumbnail-sized species of a frog near the coastal town of Manipal, Udupi district, in Karnataka. The species is of narrow-mouthed frogs and is found in the laterite rock formations of the coastal plains of Manipal. It was named as "Microhyla laterite" after its natural habitat.
Seshadri KS, PhD student from the department of biological sciences at NUS's faculty of science said "By naming the frog after its habitat, we hope to draw attention to the endangered rock formations that are of ecological importance. M laterite can potentially be used as a mascot to change peoples' perception about laterite areas,". Priti Hebbar, another co-author of the paper published in the journal PLOS ONE added that "One could easily confuse this frog with other species like Microhyla ornata which is thought to occur all over India. However, it was evident from analysing the genes that M. laterite is a distinct species and is closely related to M. sholigari, which is found only in the Western Ghats,".
The frog, measures around 1.6 cm, and is pale brown with prominent black markings on its dorsum, hands, feet and flanks. It has a call that can be easily mistaken for that of a cricket.
This species "M. laterite" is to be classified as endangered under the guidelines of the Red List by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Representational image attached.