New Frog Species Described and Named After Goa State

Nirmal Kulkarni

Saunak Pal

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A new species of frog known to be found in low lying, water-logged areas of Goa and the adjoining hill ranges of Belgaum, has recently been described. However, more detailed studies are needed to map its distribution range and understand its biology.

In the lowland areas of the Western Ghats of Goa and in the hilly tracts of Belgaum, it’s quite common to hear the tinkling 12 to 14-note ‘trick, trick’ chorus call from mud pools, paddy fields and local water bodies in the late evenings during the monsoon. Many of these are terrestrial frogs calling to attract females. These frogs belong to the amphibian genus Fejervarya of the family Dicroglossidae and are commonly known as either ‘cricket frogs’ or ‘fejervaryan frogs’. They range in size from small (19 mm) to large (56 mm) and are distributed throughout Asia. Most fejervaryan frogs are morphologically very similar and difficult to identify on the basis of external characters alone, creating taxonomic uncertainty in terms of names, identification and systematics.

A team led by K.P. Dinesh, S.P. Vijayakumar, Varun Torsekar and Kartik Shanker of Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; B.H. Chennakeshavamurthy of Zoological Survey of India, Calicut and Nirmal Kulkarni of Mhadei Research Centre, Goa, have published their findings on a new species of tiny fejervaryan frogs in the recent edition of the international taxonomic journal Zootaxa. The new species is called Fejervarya gomantaki after the state of Goa where this species is found. The authors have used a combination of morphology, geographic distribution range and molecular methods to describe the new species. In addition, the authors provide an overview of the systematics of the group and recommend additional sampling across the Asian continent.

At present, the new species is known to be found in low lying, water logged areas of Goa and the adjoining hill ranges of Belgaum where it is abundant locally. However, more detailed studies of this species are necessary to map its distribution range and understand its biology.

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