Monday, 19 March 2018

Nyctibatrachus mewasinghi: A new species of Night Frog from the Western Ghats of India.

Night Frogs, Nyctibatrachus spp., are a groups of robust-bodied Frogs found only in the Western Ghats mountain range of southwest India. They get their name from their dark colouration and nocturnal habits. They were formerly placed in the True Frog family, Ranidae, but are now recognised as belonging to a distinct family of their own, the Nyctibatrachidae, which includes only one other Frog, the Sri Lankan Wart Frog, Lankanectes corrugatus.

In a paper published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa on 26 December 2017, Keerthi Krutha of the Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society, Neelesh Dahanukar of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, and the Systematics, Ecology and Conservation Laboratory at the Zoo Outreach Organization, and Sanjay Molur, also of the Systematics, Ecology and Conservation Laboratory at the Zoo Outreach Organization,describe a new species of Night Frog from the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary, in Kerela State, India.

The new species is named Nyctibatrachus mewasinghi, in honour of Mewa Singh of the University of Mysore, the Institution of Excellence, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research. The species is small for a Night Frog, reaching 21-23 mm in length as adults, and grayish brown in colour with a lighter underside. The Frogs were found at a single location, a drainage stream near the Peruvannamuzhi Dam.

Nyctibatrachus mewasinghi, female speciemen. Krutha et al. (2018).

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