Trick Trick… new species of ‘cricket’ frog found, named after ‘Goa’

NIRMAL KULKARNI, PANAJI | 09 August 2015 17:57 IST

The zoologists of India have identified a new species of frogs in the Western Ghat region of Goa and Belgaum. It is named after Goa - 'Fejervarya Gomantaki'.

In the lowland areas of the Western Ghats of the Goa and in the hilly tracts of Belgaum, it is quite common to hear the tinkling 'trick, trick', 12 to 14 note chorus call from the mud pools, paddy fields and local water bodies in the monsoon during the late evening.

Many of these are terrestrial frogs sitting next to water bodies, making calls to attract females for mating.

Although most of these frogs are terrestrial, they need water bodies to breed in.

These terrestrial frogs belong to the amphibian genus Fejervarya of the family Dicroglossidae.

They are commonly known as either 'Cricket frogs' or 'Fejervarya frogs'.

These frogs range in size from small (19 mm) to large (56 mm) are distributed throughout Asia. 

Most Fejervarya frogs are morphologically very similar and difficult to identify on the basis of external characters alone, creating taxonomic uncertainty in terms of names, identification and systematics.

A team led zoologists belonging to Bangalore-based Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, has identified the new species of frogs.

They have published their findings on a new species of tiny Fejervaryan frogs in the recent edition of the international taxonomic journal “Zootaxa”.

According to the authors of this team, most Fejervaryan species in South and South-East Asia are cryptic and difficult to identify on the basis of morphology alone.

The team has thus used a combination of morphology, geographic distribution range and molecular methods, to identify this species from among all the Fejervaryan frogs.

In addition, the authors provide an overview of the systematics of the group and recommend additional sampling across the Asian continent. 

A team of authors include K P Dinesh, P Vijayakumar, Varun Torsekar and Kartik Shanker of Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, along with B H Chennakeshavamurthy of Zoological Survey of India of Calicut and Nirmal Kulkarni of Goa’s Mhadei Research Centre.

At present, the new species is known to be found in low lying water logged areas of Goa and the adjoining hill ranges of Belgaum, where it is abundant locally.

However, more detailed studies of this species are necessary to map its distribution range and understand its biology.

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