Two new species of cricket frogs have been discovered in the Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats recently.
The species from Eastern Ghats, called Kalinga, is seen in the hilly regions while the other species, so far found only near Jog Falls, in Shimoga district of Karnataka, has been named Krishnan.
The presence of these frogs in the areas is an indicator of an healthy ecosystem.
The discovery of these species is a collaborative effort between the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and North Orissa University (NOU), and the findings and sightings have also found a place in the records of the Zoological Survey of India.
The Kalinga variety was traced in the hills extending from Odisha, north coastal Andhra Pradesh up to river Godavari, and has been named after the ancient kingdom of Kalinga, while the other species from Karnataka has been named after eminent biologist, late Dr. K Subrammaniasastri Krishnan, for his colossal contribution in the field of biological sciences.
The Kalinga cricket frog was first spotted at various localities in the Eastern Ghats by Professor Sushil Kumar Dutta, a renowned Indian herpetologist, while the Krishnan cricket frog was collected by Dr. G Prudvi from a single locality near Jog Falls, which the second highest plunge waterfall in India located near Sagara taluk, in Shimoga district of Karnataka.
“The Kalinga cricket frog is one of the largest in its group and can grow up to 6.5 cm, whereas the Krishnan cricket is smaller, around 2 cm in average size. Cricket frogs usually live in wide habitat ranges in agricultural fields, streams, swamps, and wetlands. These new species are habitat specialists, living in perennial hill streams and have been unnoticed due to their secretive habits and morphological similarities with other similar-looking species of cricket frogs,” said Dr Prudvi Raj, the lead author of this research paper, who has been associated with the Wildlife Institute of India as a post-doctoral research scholar and has been working on various aspects of amphibians.