The star-eyed tree frog, also known as Ghatixalus asterops, is a unique and fascinating species of frog found in India. It belongs to the family Rhacophoridae, and its distinguishing feature is its distinctive star-shaped pupils, which are thought to help with light absorption. In this article, we will discuss the features, habitat and food, distribution, ecological importance and conservation status of the star-eyed tree frog.
|Name||Star-eyed tree frog|
|Scientific Name||Ghatixalus asterops|
|Colour||Bright green with orange or yellow stripes on the legs and arms, and a distinctive white band around the eyes that looks like stars|
|Habitat||Tropical evergreen forests, near streams and waterfalls|
|Indian States where it’s found||Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu|
|IUCN status||Near Threatened|
The star-eyed tree frog is a small-sized frog, measuring about 2-3 cm in length. The body of this frog is generally bright green in color, with scattered spots and stripes. The underside of the frog is usually yellow or white. The most striking feature of the frog is its eyes, which have a star-shaped pupil. This unique feature makes the frog easily identifiable from other frog species.
Habitat and Food
The star-eyed tree frog is found in the moist evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, a mountain range that runs along the western coast of India. These frogs are arboreal and are usually found in the canopy layer of the forest. They are primarily nocturnal and feed on insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates.
Where is it found in India? The star-eyed tree frog is endemic to the Western Ghats of India, which is a biodiversity hotspot and one of the most important regions for amphibian diversity in the world. It is found in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.
Importance to Ecosystem
The star-eyed tree frog plays a significant role in maintaining the ecosystem of the Western Ghats. As a predator of small insects and invertebrates, it helps to control their population and maintain ecological balance. Additionally, the frog is an important indicator species of the health of the Western Ghats ecosystem. A decline in the population of the star-eyed tree frog could indicate larger problems within the ecosystem.
The star-eyed tree frog is classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. Although there has been a decline in its population due to habitat loss and fragmentation, the species is still relatively widespread and not facing any immediate threats. However, like many other frog species, the star-eyed tree frog is vulnerable to climate change and pollution, which could have long-term effects on its survival.
The star-eyed tree frog is a unique and fascinating species of frog that plays an important role in maintaining the ecological balance of the Western Ghats. Its distinctive star-shaped pupils make it easily recognizable, and its nocturnal habits and insectivorous diet make it an important predator in the forest ecosystem. While the species is not currently facing any immediate threats, continued monitoring and conservation efforts are necessary to ensure its long-term survival.