Dancing frogs

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Overview:

According to the Wildlife Trust of India the dancing frogs are the most threatened amphibian genus of India.

About Dancing frogs:

  • These are endemic to the Western Ghats.
  • Habitat: The species was found to prefer habitats in areas with thick canopy cover of at least 70-80 per cent
  • It belongs to the Micrixalus genus.
  • It is also the fifth most threatened genus in the world with 92 per cent of its species in the threatened category
  • Behaviour
  • The dancing frogs that are found near the streams do a unique display to mate.
  • The males stretch up their hind legs one at a time and wave their webbed toes in the air in a rapid motion akin to a dance.
  • This is to attract mates as well as ward off competition, probably preferred because their mating calls are drowned out by the gurgling of the streams.
  • This act is called “foot flagging” and gives the species their name. 
  • Ecological significance:
  • Frogs are valuable in the food chain and also provide other ecological services.
  • Threats: These species are threatened by invasive species like the mosquito fish, land use change, variation in temperature and humidity, extreme weather events such as floods and excess rainfall, infectious diseases, water pollution, light pollution, and infrastructure projects.

Q1: What are Amphibians?

Amphibians are a diverse and fascinating group of vertebrate animals that are known for their unique life cycle, which involves transitioning between aquatic and terrestrial environments during different stages of their lives.

Source: Dancing frogs of Western Ghats among most threatened amphibians globally