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Faunas of Arunachal Pradesh - 3 New Species of Frogs Discovered in 2023

06 Mar,2023 03:58 PM, by: Posy Lui
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In another new finding, three new species named Amolopschanakya, Amolopstawang, and Amolopsterraorchis have been recently discovered in Arunachal Pradesh. These species were collected earlier from three different locations in Arunachal Pradesh between 2018 and 2019 and have been recently identified as new frog species.

The three new species of cascade frogs have been found in Arunachal Pradesh by scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and St. Anthony's College in Shillong, Meghalaya. These discoveries were made by a team that included Dr.BhaskarSaikia and Bikramjit Sinha of the Zoological Survey of India, Shillong; Dr. KP Dinesh and Shabnam Ansari of the Zoological Survey of India, Pune; and Dr. MA Laskar of St. Anthony's College, Shillong. The report of the findings has been published in the recent edition of the research journal Records of the Zoological Survey of India.

Scientifically named Amolopsterraorchis, which translates to the one from "the land of orchids" (terra = land, orchis = orchid, in Latin), it was collected from the Sessa Orchid Sanctuary; consequently, scientists have also proposed the name "Sessa Cascade Frog" as a common English name for the species. Amolopstawang has been named after the Tawang district in which this species was discovered, while the Amolopschanakya frog was discovered in a small creek in Chakpa village, in the Dirang administrative circle of West Kameng district, after dusk. To recognize the contributions of a famous Indian polymath to society, scientists have proposed that the third frog be named Chanakya's cascade frog as the common English name and Chanakyajharnamedak as the species' Hindi name, an appropriate and interesting name after Chanakya of the Maurya Empire.

Scientifically, all three of the newly discovered species are categorized as associates of the Ranidae family of frogs, which includes the cascade-dwelling genus Amolops. The species of Amolops are morphologically enigmatic, making it challenging to identify them solely by morphology and colour; in the current work, DNA barcoding technologies are employed to support the identifications of the new species. In addition, the team's researchers claim that they have presented a phylogenetic tree for the Indian species of Amolops for the first time, along with molecular information from species from nearby countries.

Arunachal Pradesh is a hilly and uncharted territory that presents many hurdles for explorers, yet the state's abundance of new experiences and open doors for exploration continues to draw researchers and tourists from beyond the region.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Critical Script or its editor.

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