Rare frog endemic to Western Ghats spotted

Rare frog endemic to Western Ghats spotted
Malabar gliding frogs can make gliding jumps or leaps to greater heights

Pandalam: The rare Malabar gliding frog, which is found only in the Western Ghats, was spotted at Pulladu near here provoking curiosity among the people of the locality. The frog made its appearance at the house of Dr. Jithesh, who is a professor of botany at the Pandalam NSS College.

Its body is almost 10 centimeters long, with a finely scaled skin which is vivid green in colour. The belly and the legs, which are 4 inches long, have pale yellow colour.

This rare species of frog, which is scientifically called Rhacophorus malabaricus, is known for its delicate webbing, which has a striking orange – red hue, between the toes on its feet. It is this webbing which helps them grab onto trees or walls.

Malabar gliding frogs can make gliding jumps or leaps to greater heights. It can even climb up huge tress within minutes. They lay eggs in the foam nests which are built on the trees standing near water bodies. The tadpoles drop into the water bodies and survive by feeding on small water insects.

Dr. Jithesh said that Dr. Nandakumar and Dr. Kishore, both professors of zoology at the Padalam NSS College and Farook College respectively, have confirmed that the frog is usually spotted only in the Western Ghats.

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