Thiruvananthapuram: After an official fish and butterfly, Kerala is likely to get a state frog soon.
Researchers are all set to suggest - Purple frog - as the official frog of the state during the wildlife advisory board's next meeting. Sandeep Das, a researcher at Kerala Forest Research institute, had set things in motion in this regard.
The frog with the scientific name 'Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis' is found only in the Western Ghats and spends most of the time underground. It is also known as pig-nosed frog and Maveli frog.
It is believed to be closely related to a family of frogs found in the island nation of Seychelles, near Madagascar in Africa, giving further hint that the continents of Asia and Africa were once part of the same landmass.
The frog was first discovered in Kerala's Idukki district in 2003 by Professor S D Biju of Delhi University and Franky Bossuyt of the Free University of Brussels.
After the tadpole stage, these frogs go underground. They return to the earth's surface only once in a year to breed. Citing this particular nature, Sandeep Das insists on naming the official frog as Maveli frog instead of calling by its other names.
If Maveli frog is chosen, Kerala would be the first Indian state to have an official frog.
Budha Mayoori was declared as Kerala's official butterfly recently.