New species of horned frog discovered in Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India

Xenophrys apatani is a new species of horned frog recently named by scientists at the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI). The discovery was made in the Tail Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh, which is located in the densely forested area of ​​northeastern India. This species was previously considered to be the Maosan horned frog (Xenophrys maosonensis), which lives in Vietnam and China.

Identification and Investigation

Experts from ZSI facilities in Shillong, Pune and Itanagar were part of the study team that made the discovery. By studying the shape and genes of the frogs in depth, they found clear differences between Indian and Vietnamese frogs, pointing to a new species. Genetic testing showed a difference of 4.4% to 5.5% from the Maosan horned frog, which was enough to prove that it is a different species.

Biogeographic Importance

This result highlights the biogeographic separation between the regions where these similar but genetically distinct species live. The fact that habitats in northeastern India and Vietnam are separated by approximately 1,600 km shows how geographic boundaries affect species evolution and diversity.

Integration with Local Culture

The new species is named after the Apatani tribe of the lower Subansiri Valley in honor of their work to protect the environment in Arunachal Pradesh. This option emphasizes the connection between the local population and the biodiversity of the area.

About Xenophrys Apatani

Discovery and Habitat: This type of megophroid frog was found in the Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh, India. This amphibian lives mainly under leaves in subtropical forests. It is named after the Apatani tribe of the Ziro Valley.

Distinguishing Features: Xenophrys apatani is a unique brown plant with dark spots that adds to the diversity of plants and animals living in the Eastern Himalayas. Due to its different appearance from other animals, it can hide in its natural environment.

Conservation importance: Indian researchers discovered Xenophrys apatani for the first time in 2019. This shows how important it is to protect these ecologically sensitive places, especially now that habitats are being destroyed.


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