Breaking News

DU researchers discover new species of frogs


NEW DELHI: Amphibian researchers from Delhi University – Sonali Garg, a PhD candidate, and professor SD Biju, her research manager – have found out a new genus and species of Narrow-mouthed frogs from a temporary wayside puddle in Peninsular India. The scientists examined the external and interior morphology, calls, tadpoles and DNA of this frog found out from southern Western Ghats state of Kerala, and confirm that it represents an entirely new species and genus of microhylid frogs.

This study was in part funded by means of grants from Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and Delhi University.

The findings are revealed in a scientific article titled ‘New microhylid frog genus from Peninsular India with Southeast Asian affinity suggests a couple of Cenozoic biotic exchanges between India and Eurasia’ in the current factor of the Nature Research Group journal Scientific Reports.

Sonali and Biju have named the new genus Mysticellus and the new species as Mysticellus franki (honoring evolutionary biologist Prof Franky Bossuyt from Vrije Universiteit Brussel). The researchers studied a couple of sides, similar to external morphology of adult and larvae, hand musculature, male advertisement calls, and DNA, to recognize the genus.



According to Sonali the new genus is endemic to the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in Peninsular India. Closest relatives of this frog are discovered over 2,000 km away in Southeast Asia, largely in regions encompassing Indo-Burma and Sundaland Biodiversity hotspot. The new frog diverged from its Southeast Asian relatives about 40 million years ago during the Eocene epoch.

The Southeast Asian affinity of the new genus, its divergence age as well as that of other recognized genera of the Asian subfamily (Microhylinae), supply biogeographical proof for a couple of Cenozoic biotic exchange occasions between the Indian subcontinent and Eurasia. These include postulated land connections between India and Southeast Asian regions, sooner than India’s final accretion with Eurasia.

According to Biju, it is certainly unexpected that an entirely new genus of frog went disregarded till now. Unlike most new discoveries that have resulted from explorations in forested areas, this new frog was found out from a temporary wayside puddle in one of the vital explored and researched areas of the Western Ghats. The new genus is lately recognized from a single locality and was not discovered at some other locality in spite of extensive surveys in vicinities.

"Our discovery of this new frog genus from one of the vital explored and researched regions in the Western Ghats indicates that documentation of amphibians on this globally known biodiversity hotspot continues to be a ways from being complete. This frog went disregarded till now most probably as a result of it sounds as if for not up to 4 days for breeding activities and lives a secretive lifestyle for remainder of the yr,” mentioned Sonali. The discovery came following 3 years of her box and lab study.


The discovery of yet some other endemic frog genus from the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot further highlights the amphibian range and endemism harbored on this region. The past twenty years have witnessed some outstanding amphibian discoveries from the Western Ghats. New findings, similar to this frog, point out that the amphibian inventory of the region continues to be a ways from being complete. “At the same time, Indian amphibians face quite a lot of extinction threats, especially due to habitat loss and degradation. The best recognized inhabitants of the new genus is located in a wayside area disturbed with vehicular movement, plantation activities and human settlements. Since little is understood about the habitat necessities and the distribution vary of the new frog, the particular web page must be preserved to offer protection to this frog,” mentioned Sonali. She is lately monitoring the world to collect extra information about the conservation necessities of this enigmatic frog.

Major highlights of the new discovering:


* Discovery of a new genus and species

* Remained disregarded from human sight in spite of discovery from roadside puddles

* Secretive lifestyle and very brief breeding season (4-Five days in a yr)

* Frog calls similar to an insect chorus (call files available)

* Two false-eye like spots at the back serving a defensive function


* Closest relatives discovered over 2000 kms away in Southeast Asia


* Diverged from Southeast Asia relatives ~40 million years ago during the Eocene


* Remarkable biogeographic implications suggesting a couple of faunal exchange occasions between Indian subcontinent and Eurasia during the Cenozoic


* Highlights amphibian range and endemism in Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot


No comments