Nasikabatrachus bhupathi was named after noted Indian herpetologist S. Bhupathy.
A new species of frog has been discovered and has a unique, blobbish look that is unlike most frogs.
The mud- and dirt-dwelling species was found in Hyderabad, India, and has a snout that the scientists who discovered it describe as like that of a pig. It is brownish in coloration and has little beady eyes.
The frog, Nasikabatrachus bhupathi, was named after noted Indian herpetologist S. Bhupathy, who died in 2014. Nasikabatrachus bhupathi is similar in appearance to the Indian purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis), save for a few noted differences. The Bhupathi frog is dark brown in coloration, and its frog calls have four distinct pulses. The Indian purple frog is purple in coloration and has a pause between its three-pulse call.
The discovery of this species in India supports the theory of continental drift, which suggests that the Indian subcontinent was once part Gondwana, an ancient landmass. The Indian purple frog was discovered in the Seychelles, which, according to the theory, split from Gondwana 65 million years ago.
“We confirmed it was a different species when we bar-coded its DNA and found that genetically it was very different from the Purple frog,” Ramesh K Aggarwal, chief scientist at the CCMB told The Hindu. Aggarwal is one of the five co-authors of the study, which was published last month in the journal Alytes.
More information on the Bhupathi frog can be found on the Novataxa blog.