Saturday, September 29, 2012

[Herpetology • 2012] Additional record of Raorchestes resplendens | Resplendent Bush Frog (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from the Western Ghats, India



Raorchestes resplendens Biju, Souche, Dubois, Dutta & Bossuyt, is an endemic and Critically Endangered (IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2011) species of rhacophorid that was described in the year 2010 from Anamudi summit of Eravikulam National Park, in the Western Ghats (Biju et al. 2010). As of today, the species is known only from the type locality, the Anamudi summit, which is the highest point in the Western Ghats at an altitude of 2695m.  According to Biju et al. (2010) R. resplendens is highly restricted in its distribut

On 3 May 2012, during the course of the Nilgiri Tahr Nilgiritragus hylocrius survey at Eravikulam National Park, we spotted and photographed one R. resplendens from the Poovar region of Eravikulam National 
Park.  Poovar is about 20km (on ground) north east of Anamudi summit (Images 1 & 2).  The GPS location of the present sighting is 10ํ17’07.04”N and 77ํ0 06’10.8”E, at an altitude of 2522m.  The macro habitat of the Poovar is grassland-shola forests, while the R. resplendens was sighted in the grassland (Image 3) and was seen within the grass clump.  The nearby shola patch from the current sighting is at least 1km away.

the present sighting of R. resplensens from Poovar region within Eravikulam National Park, ~20km north-east off the type locality, could be the first site record of the R. resplensens outside the type locality.  It is likely that R. resplensens may be more widespread in the high altitude primary grasslands of Eravikulam National Park and surrounding areas of the Western Ghats, than it was earlier thought.  


Additional record of Raorchestes resplendens | Resplendent Bush Frog (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from the Western Ghats, India http://www.threatenedtaxa.org/ZooPrintJournal/2012/September/o321426ix123082-3084.pdf

Biju, S.D., Y. Shouche, A. Dubois, S.K. Dutta & f. Bossuyt. 2010.  A ground-dwelling rhacophorid frog from the highest mountain peak of the Western Ghats of India. Current Science. 98(8): 1119–1125.

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