Finally, scientists identify predators of purple frog
Thrissur: The science community has identified the two creatures which are predators of the purple frog, a frog species commonly called as ‘Maveli Thavala’ in Kerala.
Checkered Keelback, a water snake which is popularly known as ‘Neerkoli’ in Kerala and Brown Fish Owl (‘Meen Kooman’) are the two predators of the purple frog.
International journal Herpetology Notes has published an article on this wonder in the ecosystem. ‘Maveli Thavala’ or ‘Mahabali frog’ is also called as ‘Pathala thavala’.
This frog which remains underground most of the year will come out from the small waterfalls in the first days of monsoon. It is assumed that the sound produced by the male purple frogs attract Brown Fish Owl. According to scientists, the Checkered Keelback comes out of its burrow realizing the movement of the frog.
But the scientists have not confirmed these facts related to the predators of the purple frog.
A team of five including KFRI researcher Sandeep Das who is also an EDGE Fellow at Zoological Survey of London and former KFRI director Dr PS Easa carried out a study on the predators of the purple frog. Biologist Nithin Divakar from Aralam Wildlife sanctuary, Delhi University Assistant professor Ashish Thomas and Benjamin Tapley, a curator at reptile section in Zoological Society of London are the other members in the team.
Purple frogs will come out from underground for mating. The male frogs will attract the female frogs by making a sound. After mating, the female frogs will lay eggs in the water. Once the eggs turn tadpoles, it will also move to the underground.
The scientists also found that there are some fish-eating spiders which hunt these tadpoles.
‘Maveli Thavala’ may be Kerala''s official amphibian
The purple frog, one of the rarest frog species endemic to the Western Ghats, would soon be declared as Kerala's official amphibian. Wildlife Advisory Board has submitted a proposal regarding this to the state government.
This rare frog is found in the Western Ghats from Kannur to Kollam and a few places in Tamil Nadu.