A Goan addition to India’s golden era of frogs
The golden era for frogs in India continues with yet another new species described from Goa. A new large Goan fejervaryan frog (Fejervarya goemchi) has been reported from higher elevations of the Western Ghats by a team of scientists who are closely looking at what was popularly called “cricket frogs”.
The new species is named after the historical and cultural name of Goa. The last decade has seen a flurry of discoveries on amphibians with 41 new frogs in 2014 alone.
The new frog, often heard during monsoons by its long croaking ‘trook, trook’ piping chorus than seen, was described to science by a team led by K.P. Dinesh, Zoological Survey of India, Pune; Nirmal Kulkarni, Mhadei Research Centre, Goa; Priyanka Swami, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and P Deepak, Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. According to the team, more detailed studies of this species are necessary to map its distribution range and understand its biology.
The new species is diagnosed on the basis of distinctness in morphology, genetic distance and geography. “Cricket frogs have a large distribution in Asia but (they are) difficult to identify on the basis of external characters alone, creating taxonomic uncertainty in terms of names, identification and systematics,” says Kulkarni.
The team is also working on a few more new species.
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