Listen to the Calls of the Elusive Purple Frog of India

Posted on February 14, 2014

Scientists have recorded the calls of the elusive Purple Frog of India on video. Usually these fossorial frogs make calls from burrows in the soil, but this frog is out in the open. The Indian Purple Frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) lives in the Western Ghats of India. The frogs only emerge from the ground for a couple weeks each year during monsoon season to mate. A male purple frog makes multiple calls in this video recorded by researchers. Take a look:

A research paper on the frog calls was published here in PLoS One. Scientists recorded 208 calls from 10 males. All the frogs were released back into the wild after being weighed and observed.

The role of vocalizations in the behavior of this unique species poses interesting questions, as the animal is fossorial and potentially earless and it breeds explosively above the soil for only about two weeks a year. In this study, we quantified 19 acoustic properties of 208 calls recorded from 10 males. Vocalizations were organized into distinct call groups typically composed of two to six short (59 ms), pulsatile calls, each consisting of about five to seven pulses produced at a rate of about 106 pulses/s. The frequency content of the call consisted of a single dominant peak between 1200-1300 Hz and there was no frequency modulation.

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