There are a wide variety of native amphibian species that live in the South Asian country of India, which is itself at the geographic heart of the Indian Subcontinent. This article will highlight a few of the many native species of amphibians in India by describing their physical characteristics, habitats, dietary patterns, life spans and other characteristics. This article will also bring attention to whether or not the species are endangered, and the conservation efforts that are being taken to help protect them. It will then conclude by discussing what can be done to help support and protect the native amphibian species of India.
Native Amphibians of India
Elegant Dancing Frog
The Elegant Dancing Frog, scientific name Micrixalus elegans, is a species of frog that is part of the Micrixalidae Family of frogs. The species is endemic to India, meaning it is only found in the country, and is located only in the Western Ghats mountain range in the southern portion of the country. The female in the species are bigger then the males as they average between being 0.70 to 0.83 inches (17.7 to 21 millimeters) in length, while the males only average 0.51 to 0.61 inches (13 to 15.5 mm). The top of the head and body of the frog is a consistent reddish-brown color with random yellow-grey spots, while the sides of the head and body are a markedly dark black-brown color. The back legs of the frog have dark brown bands on them. This species lives in the forests of the moist, tropical lowlands and favors residing in damp leaf litter by the rivers and streams. For a long time this species was though to be lost or even extinct due to only being known from a now lost holotype, but it was actually rediscovered by scientists in 2010 and is actually a common species to find. The species is listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as being data deficient since due to a lack of information on the species population and current population trend.
The Himalayan Newt, scientific name Tylototriton verrucosus, is a species of newt that is part of the Salamandridae Family of salamanders and newts. The species is found in far eastern India, the Yunnan province of China, Northern Burma (Myanmar) and Northern Thailand. The adult Himalayan Newt can grow to be 7.87 inches (20 centimeters) long. This species has a wide head that has three noticeable bony ridges with pores, a short snout and has a line of fifteen knob looking porous glands along the sides of its body and behind back legs. It is also a continually black-brown color, but slightly paler in certain areas and has a unique orange-yellow color to it on the lower edge of its tail. This species eats a variety of different insects, as well as worms and scorpions. It lives in the moist forests of southern Asia and is usually found close to some body or stream of freshwater. The species is listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN's) Red List as being a species of least concern because it has a wide habitat range and distribution and a large population that is not declining.
The Ornate Toad, scientific name Ghatophryne ornata, is a species of toad that is part of the Bufonidae Family of toads. The species is very rare, endemic to India and is located only in the Western Ghats mountain range in the southern portion of the country. The Ornate Toad grows to be around 1.2 inches (3 centimeters) in length. The species is black colored although the upper part of the head and dorsal line are usually grey colored, while the underside is usually a bright red. The species also has large bright yellow spots scattered on its body. The males in the species have a subgular vocal sac. The species live inside the crevices and cracks in rocks in and along streams in the tropical evergreen forest. The species is listed on the IUCN Red List as being a species that is endangered because of the decline in its habitat due to deforestation, as well as the quality of its habitat. The population of the species has also been on the decline.
The Purple Frog, scientific name Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis, is a species of frog that is part of the Sooglossidae Family of frogs. The species is endemic to India and is also located in the Western Ghats mountain range in the southern portion of the country, such as the Elegant Dancing Frog and the Ornate Toad. The female in the species grow to be around 2.75 inches (7 centimeters) in length, with the males being around one-third of that length. The species has a body that looks bloated yet robust and is comparatively round compared to some other frogs. The species has a unusually small head, with a pointed snout and is a dark purple-grey color. The species spends most of its life living underground in the tropical evergreen forest and generally only surfaces to mate during the rainy monsoon season. They eat and forage completely underground and mostly eats termites. The species is listed on the IUCN Red List as being an endangered species due to the decline in its habitat due to deforestation, as well as the quality of its habitat.
Conservation Efforts for the Amphibians of India
There are a number of actions that can be taken in order to help in the conservation efforts to help support the native amphibian species found in India. People can help to donate money to a national organization in India whose goal is to help conserve, support and save these amphibians and their natural habitats. People can also help to educate others on these animals and the habitats that they live in to try and help raise general awareness on the issue.