A study led by Prof S D Biju of Delhi University, along with researchers from India, Indonesia and China, has reported a new genus of the Old World treefrog family Rhacophoridae, the first of a tree frog species from the Andaman Islands.
The new genus ‘Rohanixalus’ is named after Sri Lankan taxonomist Rohan Pethiyagoda. “Our discovery of a treefrog member from Andaman Islands is unexpected and once again highlights the importance of dedicated faunal surveys and explorations for proper documentation of biodiversity in a… country like India. This finding also uncovers an interesting new distribution pattern of treefrogs that provides evidence for faunal exchange between Andamans and the Indo-Burma region,” said Biju.
They are characterised by a “rather small and slender body (2-3 cm long), a pair of contrastingly coloured lateral lines on either side of the body, minute brown speckles scattered throughout the upper body, light green-coloured eggs laid in arboreal bubble-nests, and several unique behavioural traits including maternal egg attendance”.