Purple Frog, Anamalai Hills

Sachin Rai

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

A treasure trove of biodiversity, the Western Ghats still throw up surprises, like the Purple Frog, which was described in 2003. Habitat fragmentation is the single biggest threat to the remnant forests and grasslands of this mountain range.

The Purple Frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) is a rare and recent addition to the frog world. With its closest relatives in the Seychelles, the purple frog is thought to have evolved separately for millennia. Its discovery also adds to the evidence that Madagascar and the Seychelles separated from the Indian landmass sometime well after the breakup of Gondwana had started. Described to science as late as 2003, the species is now known to be quite widely distributed in the Western Ghats.

This frog stays underground for most of the year and is known to surface only for a few weeks early in the monsoon.

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