Bull frogs cause a flutter

PHOTOS: Ch Vijaya Bhaskar, former Chief Photographer, The Hindu, Vijayawada

TEXT: G Venkataramana Rao, former Deputy Chief of Bureau, The Hindu, A.P

Amaravati, July 7:

The change of their colour from greenish brown to bright yellow with bloated blue cheeks has created in the general public.

The Latin name of these huge frogs is Hoplobatrachus tigerinus. It is also known as the Indus Valley bullfrog or Indian bullfrog, popular name Asian bullfrog, Asean bullfrog or Asia bullfrog. It is a large species of frog found in mainland Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal. It has been introduced in Madagascar and India’s Andaman Islands, where it is now a widespread invasive species. ( Source: Wikipedia)

Pictures and videos posted by mischievous elements as covid infected have gone viral. But it is natural for these frogs to turn bright yellow to attract mates .

They prefer freshwater wetlands and aquatic habitats. Generally they avoid coastal and forest areas.

Rana tigrina is mostly solitary and nocturnal in nature. They inhabit holes and bushes near permanent water sources. The frog does not stay in water for a long time; it spends most of its time hiding and feeding in surrounding vegetation.

They feed on various type of insects, invertebrates, mice, shrews, young frogs, earthworms, roundworms, juvenile snakes, and small birds.

Technical description

Vomerine teeth in two strong oblique series commence from the inner anterior angle of the choanae; lower jaw with two not very prominent bony processes in front. Head moderate; Snout more or less pointed; canthus rostralis obtuse; nostril a little nearer to the end of the mouth than to the eye; interorbital space narrower than the upper eyelid; tympanum distinct, about two thirds the size of the eye. Fingers rather short, first extending beyond second; toes moderate, obtuse, nearly entirely webbed ; a much developed membranaceous fringe along the fifth toe; sub-articular tubercles moderate; inner metatarsal tubercle very variable, small and blunt, or (var. ceylanica, Ceylon and S. India) nearly as long as the inner toe, strongly compressed, crescent shaped, shovel-shaped; no outer tubercle, a tarsal fold. Tibio-tarsal articulation reaching the ear, the eye, or a little beyond. Skin of back with longitudinal folds; a strong fold above the tympanum. Green or olive above, with dark spots; often a light vertebral line. Male with two subgular vocal sacs, conspicuous externally by folds of the skin on the sides of the throat; these regions generally blackish.

It is semiaquatic, and is said, to jump over the surface of the water much in the same way as on land when frightened.

This large frog can reach a snout to vent length of 170mm.

This species is classified as Least Concern in the IUCN red list.( source: Wikipedia)

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