The Water drop frog of Western Ghats, scientifically known as Raorchestes nerostagona, is a small, vibrant and fascinating species of frog found in the Western Ghats mountain range in India. It belongs to the family Rhacophoridae and is well known for its distinct physical features and unique habitat preferences.
|Name||Indian Water drop frog of western Ghats|
|Scientific Name||Raorchestes nerostagona|
|Colour||Brown with bright yellow spots|
|Habitat||Evergreen forests, vegetation near streams and waterfalls|
|Indian States where it’s found||Endemic to Western Ghats, found in Karnataka and Kerala|
|IUCN status||Endangered (EN)|
The Water drop frog is a small-sized frog that measures around 22-25 mm in length. It has a bright green and yellow dorsal surface, with a distinct stripe running along the side of its body. It has a pointed snout and large eyes that help it in spotting potential prey and predators. One of its unique features is its toe pads, which help it in clinging to wet rocks and leaves. The male Water drop frog is also known for its unique call, which sounds like a metallic note that resembles a drop of water hitting a surface.
Habitat and food
The Water drop frog prefers to live in wet and damp areas such as forests, streams, and waterfalls, as well as in the vicinity of human habitation. It is a primarily insectivorous species, with a diet that mainly consists of small insects such as flies, mosquitoes, and beetles.
Where is it found in India
The Water drop frog is found exclusively in the Western Ghats mountain range in India. Its distribution ranges from the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala to the western state of Maharashtra. It is a highly endemic species and is not found in any other part of the world.
Importance to ecosystem
The Water drop frog plays an important role in the ecosystem of the Western Ghats. As a predator of small insects, it helps in maintaining a balance in the insect population, thereby indirectly helping in the conservation of plant species. Its unique habitat preferences also make it an important indicator of the health of the forest ecosystem. The presence of Water drop frogs in an area indicates that the ecosystem is healthy and undisturbed.
The Water drop frog is currently listed as ‘Endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The primary threats to its survival are habitat loss due to deforestation and human encroachment, pollution of water bodies, and climate change. Conservation efforts are being undertaken to protect the species and its habitat, including the establishment of protected areas and habitat restoration projects.
In conclusion, the Water drop frog of Western Ghats is a unique and fascinating species of frog that plays an important role in the ecosystem of the Western Ghats mountain range in India. Its distinct physical features, unique habitat preferences, and important ecological role make it an important species for conservation efforts in India.