Purple Frog

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Purple Frog Blog Image


Recently, the government of Tamil Nadu established the Tamil Nadu Endangered Species Conservation Fund (TNESCF) to protect the purple frog and other lesser known endangered species.

About Purple Frog

  • It is also known as Maveli frog or Pignose Frog. 
  • It is believed to have co-existed with dinosaurs, has similarities to the Sooglossidae family of frogs in Seychelles.
  • It is often called a ‘living fossil’ which belongs to the Nasikabatrachidae family.
  • Appearance
    • It has a bloated body with short stout limbs and is dark purple to greyish in colour.
    • It has a small head in comparison to the body length, and an unusually pointed snout.
    • Its short and muscular forelimbs with hard palms help it to burrow underground.
    • Unlike other frogs, it has very short hind legs, which does not allow it to leap from one spot to another.
  • Habitat: This burrow-dwelling frog prefers loose, damp and well-aerated soil close to ponds and ditches or streams. 
  • Distribution: It is the soil-dwelling frog endemic to selected habitats in the Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • The Anamalai hill is one of its prime habitats in Tamil Nadu.
  • Tamil Nadu is home to two types of Purple Frog: Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis and Nasikabatrachus bhupathi. 
  • It remains underground most of the year except for 2-3 weeks during the monsoon when it comes out to mate.
  • Conservation status
    • IUCN: Endangered
    • Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Act, 2022: Schedule I
  • Threats: Habitat loss, road networks through their habitats, and climate change are some of the major threats to their survival. 

Q1) What are Amphibians?

These are a class of cold-blooded vertebrates made up of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and caecilians (wormlike animals with poorly developed eyes). All amphibians spend part of their lives in water and part on land. Amphibians are found nearly all over the world.

Source: A special fund to save Purple Frog, a ‘living fossil’, in the Western Ghats