Mangaluru, May 17, 2018: A new frog species belonging to the genus Microhyla has been discovered by scientists/researchers from Mangalore University in collaboration with scientists from ATREE (Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment), Bengaluru. This new species has been discovered in the temporary wetlands of Baikampady (industrial hub) of Mangaluru, the coastal city of Karnataka.
The research team has named the frog species after the city of Mangaluru as ‘Microhyla Kodial’ (Mangaluru narrow-mouthed frog; Kodial means Mangaluru in Konkani language). This naming was mainly to identify the locality where the species was spotted and to popularise the city as it has diverse unique flora and fauna but is most of the times neglected as more attention is given to the Western Ghats.
Researcher Vineeth Kumar said the species, unlike any other frog species that were described in the past, is recorded only from urban habitat (industrial area of Mangaluru city). Genetically the species is closer to the species of Microhyla from Southeast Asia, hence the research team hypothesises that this species could have been unintentionally introduced from Southeast Asia in the past decades as the locality of the new species was a dumping yard for logs imported from Southeast Asia. However, researchers are not certain about the fact of its introduction, which still remains a question to be answered in future.
Researchers Vineeth Kumar (Inspire Fellow), Radhakrishna Upadhyaya (former MSc student), Dr Rajashekhar K Patil (Professor) from the Department of Mangalore University along with Scientists Dr Aravind Madhyastha (Associate Professor) and Anwesha Saha (Research student) from ATREE, Bengaluru and Godwin R D (former Staff, St Aloysius PU College, Mangaluru) have published their findings in Zootaxa (a peer-reviewed international journal) on May 16, 2018. So, Kudla city frogs now come into their own.