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Daily News Analysis

New genus of tree frog discovered, found in Andamans and Northeast India

14th November, 2020 Ecology and Biodiversity

Context: Scientists and researchers from the University of Delhi and the Zoological Survey of India have discovered a genus of tree frog found in the Andaman islands and the northeast.

  • Named after Sri Lankan taxonomist Rohan Pethiyagoda, the frogs of the new genus Rohanixalus are characterised by a
    • rather small and slender body (size about 2 to 3 cm long),
    • a pair of contrastingly coloured lateral lines on either side of the body,
    • minute brown speckles scattered throughout the upper body surfaces, and
    • light green coloured eggs laid in arboreal bubble-nests.
  • Based on DNA studies, the new genus is also revealed to be a distinct evolutionary lineage from all previously known tree frog genera.
  • Frog species in this genus Rohanixalus, which are known to inhabit forested as well as human-dominated landscapes right from the northeast, the Andaman islands, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, up to southern China.
  • Another interesting aspect is that the first member of the tree frog family, Rohanixalus vittatus (Striped Bubble-nest frog), is reported from the Andaman islands.