IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


23rd January, 2023 Environment

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Context: Mahabali Frog, which buries itself all through the year and surfaces only one day to lay eggs, is waiting to be elevated as the State Frog of Kerala.


  • A proposal for assigning the official tag for the amphibian will once again come up before the State Wildlife Advisory Board.
  • The frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) was named after the mythical King Mahabali, who visits his people once a year from the underneath world
  • The declaration will go a long way in projecting Kerala as the ambassador of conservation of amphibians and its habitats.
  • The conservation of Mahabali Frog will also help in conserving the aquatic ecosystems in the Western Ghats


  • Scientifically called Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis, it is listed as endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
  • The purple frog, also known as pignose frog is one of the rarest frog species endemic to the Western Ghats, would soon be declared as Kerala’s official amphibian.
  • The Indian purple frog emerges from its underground burrow on just one day of the year.
  • It is not only a rare frog species but is also one of the unique amphibians.
  • It said the purple frog has a bloated body with short stout limbs and is dark purple to greyish in colour.
  • Reaching to about 7 centimeters, 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.
  • Named as the “Mahabali frog”as it emerges from under the ground for only one day, like Kerala’s mythological King Mahabali who was banished to the underworld and given permission to meet his subjects in Kerala during Thiruvonam day of the Malayalam month of Chingam.