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10 new frogs discovered in India’s great rainforest

August 09, 2011

Ten new species of frog have been discovered in India's Western Ghats according to two new papers in Biosystematica. Although human populations have farmed in the Western Ghats for centuries, the new discoveries prove that the rainforest still holds many surprises.

The Western Ghats lie along India's west coast and have been dubbed one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, but the rich wildlife is imperiled by rising human impacts.

Nine of the new species belong to the genus Raorchestes, a genus only found in the Western Ghats, which now includes 39 total species. The tenth species belongs to the Polypedates genus, which was discovered near tea plantations.

One of the new Raorchestes frogs—Raorchestes manohari—was described in the paper in particularly effusive terms: "[This is] one of the most beautiful species with no resemblance to any of the described species of Raorchestes genus.

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Raorchestes uthamani lives in reeds. Photo courtesy of D.P. Kinesh.

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