What is Alcalus Fontinalis?

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What is Alcalus Fontinalis? Blog Image


Researchers recently discovered a new species of frog named Alcalus fontinalis in the northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

About Alcalus Fontinalis

  • It is a newly discovered species of frog.
  • It was discovered in the Namdapha Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The frog appeared to be a mix of a bush frog and a water frog.
  • The researchers used multiple lines of evidence using morphological, osteological, and molecular analysis, revealing they are no ordinary frogs but members of a dwarf mountain frog of the genus Alcalus, hitherto unknown from India.
  • It was formally named Alcalus fontinalis, meaning “spring or fountain,” referencing the tiny streams or brooks where the frog was found.
  • The new species stands out from its congeners due to a unique combination of morphological features.
  • These include a snout-vent length of 27–28 mm in males and 29.9–36.2 mm in females, a disc on fingers and toes with a horizontal/transverse groove on the dorsal surface, wrinkled dorsal skin, and a pair of faint dorsolateral stripes on the back.
  • Key Facts about Namdapha Tiger Reserve
  • It is India’s easternmost tiger reserve. 
  • It is located in the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh, near the international border with Myanmar. 
  • The area is located between the Dapha Bum ridge of the Mishmi Hills, outspurs of North Eastern Himalayas and the Patkai Ranges. 
  • It was declared in the year 1983.
  • Vegetation: Evergreen Forests, Moist deciduous forests, sub-tropical forests, Temperate Forests and Alpine. 
  • Climate:
    • The Namdapha Protected area, being 27 degrees north of Equator, enjoys a sub-tropical climate.
    • However, the climate of the area varies from place to place inside the protected area due to variations in altitude from 200 m to 4571m and the area also being a zone of heavy rainfall.
  • Namdapha river: 
    • Namdapha is, in fact, the name of a river which originates from Daphabum and meets the Noa-Dehing River.
    • This river flows right across the reserve in a North-South direction and hence the name Namdapha.
  • Flora: The Botanical Survey of India has recorded 73 species of lichens, 56 species of Bryophytes, 110 species of Pteridophytes, 5 species of Gymnosperms, and 801 species of Angiosperms.
  • Fauna: Elephants, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Sun Bear, Hoolock Gibbon (only Ape in India), Slow Loris, large herbivores such as Goral, Serow, Sambar, Pig, and Malayan Giant Squirrel.

Q1) What is osteology?

Osteology means the study of bones and comprises studies of both human and animal material. Osteological material forms the largest amount of finds at archaeological excavations, regardless of the site contains burials or settlement structures. 

Source: Discovery: Brook Dwarf Mountain Frog (Alcalus fontinalis) found from Motijheel track