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Malabar Gliding Frog

  • 15 Jun 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, a rare amphibian i.e. Malabar Gliding Frog (Rhacophorus malabaricus) was spotted in Pullad, Kerala.

  • The amphibian is endemic to the rainforest of western ghats.
    • Endemic species are those plants and animals that exist only in one geographical region.

Key Points

  • Characteristics:
    • It is a green frog with slender body, webbed feet, unusual body positions and very well camouflaged.
      • Camouflage, also called cryptic coloration, is a defense mechanism or tactic that organisms use to disguise their appearance, usually to blend in with their surroundings.
    • The fingers and toes are like sticks to attach and walk through tree branches.
    • It has a high gliding abilities, with the long skin between the fingers which helps to cover 10 to 12 feet in one leap.
    • It has a body length of 10 cm, making it one of the largest mossy frogs.
      • Mossy Frogs: These frogs have the skin which is green in colour and resembles moss growing on the rock.
    • The breeding period is during the monsoon and usually, the females choose to spawn on the lush green leaves overhanging a waterbody.
    • As their body is so soft, they can live only in moist forests with streams.
  • Foam Nests:
    • They built foam nests above small pools of water, into which the tadpoles drop after hatching.
      • Behaviour like cannibalism has been found among tadpoles.
  • Protection Status:
  • Concern: The Malabar gliding frog population is declining due to deforestation, climate change, developmental activities, and toxic chemicals.

The Western Ghats

  • These are the mountain ranges running parallel along the western coast of India starting from Gujarat and ending in Tamil Nadu.
  • Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are the six Indian states covered by Western Ghats.
  • The mountain range is also a “Hottest Hotspot” of biodiversity.
  • The Ghats are often called the Great Escarpment of India and are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • High Biodiversity and Endemism are special features of Western Ghats along with the presence of Evergreen Forests.


  • They fall under the Chordata phylum of the kingdom Animalia, Eg., Frogs, Salamanders etc.
  • These are multicellular vertebrates that live both on land and water.
  • They are the first cold-blooded animals to have appeared on land.
    • Cold-blooded animals can be defined as the animals which cannot regulate their internal body temperature with the change in the environment.
  • They respire through the lungs and skin.
  • They have three chambered hearts.

Source: TH

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