New cascade frog species discovered in Arunachal; named after Adi Hills, tribe
A team of biologists from Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, Delhi University (DU), and US’s North Carolina Museum of Natural Science has discovered a new species of cascade frog in Arunachal Pradesh.
Details of the discovery, made in 2018 in the Siang River basin in Adi Hills (earlier known as Abor Hills) area of the state during an expedition, have been published in the latest edition of Journal of Natural History, London.
The new species has been named Adi Cascade Frog (Amolops adicola) after people from the Adi tribe who inhabit the region. The literal meaning of Adi in the local language is ‘hill’ or ‘mountain top’.
“Cascade frogs are named because of their preference for small waterfalls or cascades in hill streams. The new species was identified based on external morphology, DNA and calling pattern,” said Prof SD Biju of DU, who was associated with the discovery.
“The discovery is testament to how little is known about one of the most threatened animal groups, frogs, in northeast India. Many frogs in the region are reported to occur widely, but, in fact have relatively small geographical ranges and require special attention for conservation before they go extinct forever,” said Biju.
The study of the new species also resolved a century-old taxonomic confusion surrounding the identity of another cascade frog species, Amolops monticola, which was discovered in Sikkim Himalayas 150 years ago.
“The new species was discovered while revisiting the century-old Adi Expedition and named after the land of the Adi tribe in Arunachal Pradesh where this species dwells particularly during the post-monsoon season,” said Abhijit Das of WII, who was also associated with the discovery.