Scientists discover New Frog Species in Assam.

Scientists discover New Frog Species in Assam.

June 15, 2019.

Today is the World of science and technology. New inventions are coming into light day by day. Now a team of scientists from the Delhi University and Wildlife Institute of India, in collaboration with scientists from USA and Indonesia, have found a remarkably beautiful new frog belonging to the microhylid genus Micryletta from the Northeast of India.

The study was conducted by Sonali Garg and SD Biju (of DU), Abhijit Das (of Wildlife Institute of India) Eric N Smith (from University of Texas, US) and Amir Hamidy (from Indonesian Institute of Sciences).

This species is commonly known as paddy frogs, this is the first known species of this genus. It was originally described from the Sumatra island in Indonesia. At present, there are only four recognized species in this group and newly discovered Micryletta aishani becomes the 5th.

The scientists did a detailed comparison of both DNA and morphology of the newly found Micryletta frog, with all previously known members across Southeast and East Asia and from Northeast India, and was confirmed as a new species. This new species strikingly differs from other narrow-mouthed paddy frogs.

Its characteristics include- its back is reddish-brown in color, on lateral sides it has prominent dark streaks and ash-grey mottling, the shape of the snout (nose and mouth) is unique, and web on its feet is absent.

Professor S D Biju from DU said, “The actual number of frog species in Northeast India is much higher than the current estimates. What remains is for us to carry out dedicated surveys in unexplored regions and undertake comprehensive studies using integrative taxonomy, just like the Western Ghats where the number of known amphibian species has nearly doubled within a short span of ten years, making it one of the leading biodiversity hotspots in the world with an unprecedented rate of new frog discoveries.”

The new species is named aishani, derived from the Sanskrit word ‘aishani’ or aiśānī (meaning north-east), referring to the Northeast regions of India where this frog was discovered. The researchers discovered and described Micryletta aishani based on specimens collected from a degraded forest area in Cachar district of Assam.

Sonali Garg, DU said, “The new species is likely to be more widely distributed in Northeast India, particularly the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot region that lies south of River Brahmaputra. Micryletta aishani is currently endemic to Northeast India but it could very well be present in the neighboring regions of Bangladesh and Myanmar.”

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