Rhacophorus lateralis: a species with an inusual nesting behavior
Rhacophorus lateralis (Rhacophoridae) is a very rare frog endemic to India. Two color morphs of the species have been observed, one morph with a dominantly green dorsum (was shown in the photo), and the other with brown dorsum with a mixture of varying shades of green.
It is an arboreal frog with a specialized nest building behavior, unique among Rhacophorus species. A purse-like nest is made over water by folding a single leaf around the egg mass (embryos and translucent foam) by the female alone after oviposition. The function of this parental investment is to prevent desiccation of eggs in open sunlight.
In 204, the IUCN assessed this species as Endangered and considered its range to be restricted to two small areas of Wyanad and Coorg in southern Western Ghats of India. However, in 2009 this species was reported also from Shanthi Estate, Coorg; and, in 2010 from the surroundings of Bhadra Tiger Reserve and Kudremukh National Park.
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Photo credit: ©Vipin Baliga
Locality: Virajpet, Karnataka, Western Ghats, India.