Udayavni Special

New frog species discovered


Team Udayavani, May 17, 2018, 2:41 PM IST

Mangaluru: A team of scientists/researchers from Mangalore University in collaboration with scientists from ATREE (Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment), Bengaluru have discovered a new frog species belonging to the genus Microhyla. This new species has been discovered in the temporary wetlands of Baikampady (industrial hub) of Mangaluru.

The frog species is named ‘Microhyla Kodial’ (Mangaluru narrow-mouthed frog; Kodial means Mangaluru in Konkani language) after the city of Mangaluru. The team named it so to identify with the locality where the species was spotted and to popularize Mangaluru for the diverse and unique flora and fauna it has since most of the times it is neglected as more attention is given to the Western Ghats.

Researcher Vineeth Kumar said the species is unlike any other frog species that were described in the past. It is recorded only from urban habitat (industrial area of Mangaluru city). The species is genetically closer to the species of Microhyla from Southeast Asia. The research team hypothesizes that this species could have been unintentionally introduced from Southeast Asia in the past decades since the spot where the new species was discovered is a dumping yard for logs imported from Southeast Asia.

However, researchers are not yet certain about it. It seems like it is a question to be answered in the future.

Researchers Vineeth Kumar (Inspire Fellow), Radhakrishna Upadhyaya (former MSc student), Dr. Rajashekhar K Patil (Professor) from the Department of Mangalore University along with Scientists Dr. Aravind Madhyastha (Associate Professor) and Anwesha Saha (Research student) from ATREE,

Bengaluru and Godwin R D (former Staff, St Aloysius PU College, Mangaluru) published their findings in Zootaxa (a peer-reviewed international journal) on May 16, 2018.

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