Guwahati, February 21: A brownish-yellow frog spotted in Arunachal Pradesh in June 2017, with markings that turned fluorescent in torchlight, was last seen nearly 36 years ago in Tibet, a paper published in the latest issue of Records of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) confirmed on Tuesday.
The frog has scattered crimson tubercles – small rounded projections or protuberances, especially on a bone or on the surface of an animal or plant, according to the Oxford online dictionary – and a typically protruding posterior, according to the paper.
Elaborately called “First Report of Megophyrs pachyproctus Huang 1981 (Anura Megophridae) from Talle Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, India”, the title includes the zoological name of the creature, the Chinese researcher who spotted it in 1981 and the location of its sighting in India.
The rare animal is described in the paper as “a medium-sized, brownish-yellow, male frog — head flattened, almost as long as wide; snout region concave, tip shield like, bluntly rounded, protrudes over the lower jaw.” It was neither very active nor lethargic compared to other species found in the mixed, wet, evergreen tropical forest that Talle Valley is categorized as, the paper said.
“It was dark and the intensity of the rain had reduced when we found the frog in the bushes,” said Bikramjit Sinha, head of ZSI’s Itanagar regional centre and co-author of the paper along with scientist Bhaskar Saikia.
“The habitat is the same, there is not much of a distance or topographical difference between where the frog was spotted in China (Tibet) and Talle in Arunachal Pradesh,” Sinha added.
According to him, there were some sightings in Vietnam too, but those could not be confirmed as belonging to the same species. (Courtesy: HT)