True Frogs: Ranidae
Nilgiri Tropical Frog (micrixalus Phyllophilus): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: The typical Nilgiri tropical frog is a greenish brown, smooth-skinned frog with darker patches scattered on its back and dark bands across its front and back legs. Some pink color shows on its underside beneath the legs and toward the rump. It has a ridge of skin running down each side from the snout to the rump. Its hind legs are fairly long, and their toes are fully webbed. The toes on all four feet have small, rounded tips. Males and females look much alike, except that the males develop rough pads during the mating season. Adults reach about 1.25 inches (3.175 centimeters) long from snout to rump.
Geographic range: It lives in southern India.
Habitat: The Nilgiri tropical frog makes its home in moist, humid forests on hills from about 984 to 4,593 feet (300 to 1,400 meters) above sea level. The forests all have thick layers of dead leaves and other bits of plants lying on the ground. The frog appears to live only in forests that humans have not logged or otherwise changed.
Diet: Scientists are not sure what it eats.
Behavior and reproduction: This frog is still mostly a mystery. Other than the tadpole's appearance, scientists know little else about it. The tadpole is long with a slender tail and a mouth that opens on the bottom rather than on its front, as is the case in many other tadpoles.
Nilgiri tropical frogs and people: This frog does not survive well in disturbed forests, and people are doing just that by logging trees from woods where the frog lives.
Conservation status: The Nilgiri tropical frog is only known from one national park and two reserves, but it may live in areas between these three spots. Because the frog's home areas are small and separated from one another, and its forests are being logged, the IUCN has listed the Nilgiri tropical frog as Vulnerable, which means that it faces a high risk of extinction in the wild. It is protected by the government of India. ∎
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