Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 20th, 2008
The tiny shrub frog (Philautus ochlandrae) lives in bamboo hollows.
This new species of shrub frog from the Western Ghats adds its name to the growing list of frogs discovered recently. The latest is a tiny oriental shrub frog, named Philautus ochlandrae, discovered in the cool evergreen forests of the Kakkayam Reserve Forest in Kerala, India.
The squat little amphibian does not grow beyond 2.5 cm, has a short rounded snout and protruding eyes with striking golden yellow markings. With this, the number of frog species discovered in the last seven years in India stands at 25. The discovery was published in the international journal Zootaxa in October 2007.
The frog lives in the hollows of bamboo reeds in the forests of the Western Ghats, where rain is abundant and temperatures are low, said K.V. Gururaja, doctoral fellow at the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science (IISc). He is one of the five authors of the paper. The co-authors are T.V. Ramachandra, Professor, CES, IISc; and K.P. Dinesh, Muhamed Jafer Palot and C. Radhakrishnan, of the Western Ghats Field Research Station, Zoological Survey of India.
This shrub frog belongs to a group in which an unusual phenomenon called “direct development” takes place. “Skipping the tadpole stage, froglets directly emerge from the eggs that are laid in the inner walls of the bamboo,” said Dr. Gururaja. With this adaptation, the frogs do not need water to breed, he said.
Source: Divya Gandhi, “New frog species found in Kerala,” The Hindu, India, Sunday, January 20, 2008.