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New Frog Species Discovered From Goa

New Frog Species Discovered From Goa

A new frog species, Fejervarya goemchi, has been discovered from and named after the state of Goa.

Photo: Nirmal Kulkarni

A team led by Dr. K.P. Dinesh, from Zoological Survey of India, Pune; Mr. Nirmal Kulkarni of Mhadei Research Centre, Goa; Ms. Priyanka Swami of Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Mr. P. Deepak of Mount Carmel College, Bangalore have published their findings on a new species of large fejervaryan frog in the recent edition of the Records of the Zoological Survey of India.

The new species called Fejervarya goemchi, is named after the historical name of the state of Goa where the species is discovered. A large sized frog measuring 41.0 to 46.0 mm, it can be seen in the field with peak activity during the onset of the monsoon.

In the highland plateaus of the Western Ghats parts of the Goa, it is common to hear the long croaking 'trook, trook' piping chorus call from the temporary mud pools in the monsoon once the sun goes down.

Many of these are large sized terrestrial fejervaryan frogs, sitting next to water bodies, making calls to attract females for mating and breeding. Although most of these frogs are terrestrial, they need water bodies for their breeding and essentially their survival. These terrestrial frogs belong to the amphibian genus Fejervarya of the family Dicroglossidae and are commonly known as either 'cricket frogs' or 'fejervaryan frogs'. They range in size from small (19 mm) to large (56 mm) and are distributed throughout Asia.

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

The authors used a combination of morphology, geographic distribution range and molecular methods to describe the new species. At present, the new species is known to be found in the high elevation areas of lateritic plateaus, temporary water bodies and paddy fields of Goa and is known to be abundant locally.

Source: Nirmal Kulkarni


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