India’s newest frog evolved 60 million years ago

  1. A new species of frog has been discovered in the Western Ghat range in Wayanad, Kerala. The frog was first spotted in 2010 in Kurichiyarmala, Wayanad.
  2. The frog has been named as Astrobatrachus kurichiyana (Kurichiyana after Kurichiya tribe- a matrilineal tribe of Kerala distributed mainly in Wayanad and Kannur districts). The frog has been given the sobriquet Starry dwarf frog after the markings on its body.
  3. Genetic studies have revealed that its closest relatives are the Nycibatrachinae group of frogs that are found in Western Ghats, and the Lankanectinae frogs of Sri Lanka.
  4. Genetic analysis has further revealed that this species of frog is at least 60 million years old.