Tiny frog, smallest land vertebrate of India, discovered

A Nyctibatrachus sp. frog

From Science Daily:

New Species Of Frog Discovered: Smallest Indian Land Vertebrate

The India’s smallest land vertebrate, a 10-millimeter frog, has been discovered from the Western Ghats of Kerala by Delhi University Systematics Biologist, S D Biju and his colleagues.

Indian land vertebrates (all animals with backbone except fishes), comprises of 2,400 species including 218 frog species.

The new species Nyctibatrachus minimus on an Indian coin, photo courtesy of University of Delhi

S D Biju and his colleagues discovered the tiny night frog living under leaf litter and among the roots of ferns in the humid rainforest of the Western Ghats of Kerala, a mountainous region in the western portion of India. Biju gave a new name for the frog, Nyctibatrachus minimus.

With adult males of barely 10 mm in length, Nyctibatrachus minimus is the smallest of all known Indian land vertebrates and compete with miniature frogs in other parts of the world, including Cuba, the Amazon and Borneo.

This frog can be found during nighttime (hence the common name of the genus- Nightfrog) and also can be heard (mating calls) from under the leaf litter during monsoon months, the ideal time for reproduction.

Biju has been working in the Western Ghats to find new species of frogs over the past several years, and his findings include the purple frog (Nasikabatrachus) and the first canopy frog (Philautus nerostagona) from India.

The discovery was published recently in the journal Current Science.

New Zealand frogs: here.

An antibiotic primarily used to treat pinkeye in humans rids frogs of the fungal disease that is wiping out amphibian populations around the world, a team of New Zealand scientists reports. Infected frogs treated with the drug for two weeks were cured of the deadly disease, called chytridiomycosis or frog chytrid disease: here.

Hamilton’s frog in New Zealand: here.

newzealandbirds: The introduced Australian bell frog has virtually disappeared from NZ. It seems it is now only found in areas protected from farm runoff.

4 thoughts on “Tiny frog, smallest land vertebrate of India, discovered

  1. Unique NZ frogs found to be breeding
    NZPA | Thursday, 28 February 2008

    ANDREW GORRIE/Dominion Post

    BREEDING SUCCESS: The tiny Maud Island frog has been bred in captivity for the first time at the Karori Wildlife Sanctury.

    Thirteen rare finger nail-sized frogs have been born for the first time on one of New Zealand’s main islands.

    The Maud Island frogs were found in the frog enclosure at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellington and have been taken to Victoria University.

    When they have grown they will be released into the wild.

    Victoria University student Kerri Lukis, who is studying the sanctuary’s population for her Master’s thesis, said it was an exciting find.

    “Maud Island frogs have never been found breeding in their natural habitat before, and certainly not on the mainland. It’s wonderful timing for 2008 — International Year of the Frog and a Leap Year,” Ms Lukis said.

    “It’s rare to get a good news story about frogs, every year around 35 species of frog become extinct and two of New Zealand’s remaining native frog species are on the critical list.”

    Maud Island frogs hatch from the egg as fully-formed frogs without going through the tadpole stage.

    Maud Island frogs are nationally threatened. They evolved very little over the last 70 million years, resulting in distinctive features and behaviours.

    They do not croak, live in water or have webbed feet, Ms Lukis said.

    In 2006 , 60 frogs were released into the mouse-proof frog enclosure at the wildlife sanctuary in an effort to re-establish the species on the mainland.

    Thirty of these frogs were then released into the wild so captive and wild populations could be compared.


  2. these great species of frogs have been discovered…..thats really great news for us…..NOT for the frogs……they might be wondering when their name will be added to the huge list of the endangered species and then to that of the extinct species!its only if we silly humans realize what we are doing before it is too late!!


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