New Species of Narrow-Mouthed Frog Discovered in India's Wastelands

Posted on March 10, 2016

Microhyla laterite narrow-mouthed frog

Scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have discovered a new species of narrow-mouthed frog in India's wastelands. The 1.6 centimeter frog species is the size of a thumbnail.

The wastelands are the laterite rock formations of India's coastal plains. They are classified as wastelands due to the fact that are usually devoid of trees and other vegetation. The researchers say the wastelands are often used for dumping activities. They are also heavily mined.

The frog species has been named Microhyla laterite after its habitat. The common name is Laterite narrow-mouthed frog. Mr. Ramit Singal discovered the frog and brought it to the attention of Mr. Seshadri, the lead author of the research paper.

Seshadri says in a statement, "By naming the frog after its habitat, we hope to draw attention to the endangered rock formations that are of ecological importance. M. laterite can potentially be used as a mascot to change peoples' perception about laterite areas."

A research paper on the frog was published here in the journal, PLOS One. The scientists are suggesting the frog be classified as Endangered under the guidelines of the Red List by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It has a limited geographic range of about 150 square kilometers in southwest India.

Photo: Ramit Singal