Purple Frog Current Affairs - 2020
Purple frog could be soon designated as Kerala’s state amphibian. The proposal for this is being mooted by Kerela’s leading Herpetologists (a specialist in study of reptiles and amphibians). The odd-looking species is endemic to Western Ghats. The title would help in protecting species fragile habitat.
About Purple Frog
- Scientific Name: Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis (N. sahyadrensis).
- It is also known as Maveli frog or Pignose Frog.
- Features: Its body appears sturdy and swollen. It is relatively round in shape as compared to other flattened frogs. Compared to other frogs it has a small head and an unusual pointed snout (muzzle). In most cases adults are dark purplish-grey in color.
- Habitat: For almost its entire life it lives in underground tunnels and comes out to surface for only a single day in a year to breed.
- Distribution: They were thought to be limited to south of the Palghat Gap (a pass which is located between Nilgiri Hills to north and Anaimalai Hills to south) in Western Ghats, but are now known to be quite widely distributed in Western Ghats.
- As per Herpetologists purple frog should rightly be called ‘living fossil’ as it is believed that they have co-existed with dinosaurs almost 70 million years ago.
- IUCN Red List: Their conservation status is endangered as per International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Tags: Anaimalai Hills • Endangered • Herpetologist • International Union for Conservation of Nature • IUCN Red List
Indian scientists have discovered Nasikabatrachus bhupathi, a new species of frog that has a snout-shaped nose, just like a pig in West Ghats. It has been named after the Indian herpetologist S. Bhupathy.
Nasikabatrachus bhupathi species show comparisons with the Purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) which was discovered in 2003 in Seychelles.
Nasikabatrachus bhupathi is soiled-dwelling species of purple frog. It inhabits the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, near the Srivilliputhur Grizzled Giant Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.
It differs from the Purple frog morphologically and acoustically. It is dark brown in colour and each of its calls consists of four distinct pulses while the Purple frog pauses once between its three-pulse-call.
Significance of Discovery
The discovery is significant as it constitutes additional evidence in favour of the continental drift theory. The Purple frog inhabitant of Seychelles, and discovery of Nasikabatrachus bhupathi in India suggests that Indian subcontinent was part of ancient landmass of Gondwana before splitting from Seychelles 65 million years ago.