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Impurest's Guide to Animals #77 - White Spotted Bush Frog

As July continues to be a scorcher of a month, I have my eye on the mercury and crossing my fingers for more comfortable weather after two of my colleagues went down with heat-stroke in the field. Last weeks animals, the spring loaded Leaproach and graceful Spoonwing, are fortunately more heat tolerant, as is this weeks cryptic creature. Hope you enjoy…


Issue #77 - White Spotted Bush Frog


Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Amphibia

Order – Anura

Family – Rhacaphoridae

Genus – Raorchestus

Species –chalazodes

Related Species - The White Spotted Bush Frog is one of 38 species found in the Genus Raorchestus (1)

Range - The White Spotted Bush Frog only live in the Western Ghats of India

Frog in a Flute

The White Spotted Bush Frog is a small green frog, of about an inch in length, with green granulated skin. In the right light, these grains appear to be white, thus giving the frog its name. The species prefers warm and wet habitats, and are predominantly nocturnal, doing the majority of their hunting at night. Discovered in 1869, the White Spotted Bush Frog was declared extinct in 1911, only to be rediscovered alive over a century later (2).

White Spotted Bush Frogs, like all amphibians are carnivorous and feed on small invertebrates, but are prey themselves to rodents, birds, small reptiles and even some of the larger Bird Eating Spiders. Hunting at night reduces some of this predatory stress, not to mention the desiccating effect of the sun.


The White Spotted Bush Frog was long thought, to be a bubble nester, and was even briefly named the Chalazodes bubble-nester frog. In reality, the male frog enters holes, created by insects, in the stems of the Flute Bamboo (Ochlandra travancorica), before calling for a female. Upon entering the bamboo, the females lays her eggs, being one of two species to nest in bamboo, the other being the Ochlandra reed frog (Raorchestes ochlandrae), whilst the male guards them, only leaving for a few hours a night to feed (3), with the young emerging sometime later as fully formed adults.


Five to Save #8 - Amphibians

Amphibians are, as a taxonomic group, are probably the most ‘at risk’ group of animals on the planet. Calculations suggest that up to a third of all species are listed as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered, and that many species as yet unknown to science, may become extinct before we ever know about them. And while it’s possible for species, such as the White Spotted Bush Frog, to survive the ever closing jaws of extinction, a vast majority of amphibians may be lost to us within the next fifty years alone.

Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus) Critically Endangered

Threats: Pollution - Due to China’s rapidly expanding industrial economy, all river life within the country’s borders are suffering from increased sedimentation, pesticide concentration and pollution. Like all amphibians, the Giant Salamander is very susceptible to environmental changes, and is declining in population size, and overall length due to poor water quality.

Goliath Frog (Conraua goliath) Endangered

Threats: Over Hunting - The largest extant frog in the world, the Goliath Frog is hunted both for the bush meat and pet trade across much of its range. In addition the destruction of its rainforest home is also a factor in its decline, and despite its size there are currently no efforts to preserve this species.

Kihanasi Spray Toad (Nectophrynoides asperginis) Extinct in the Wild

Threats: Chytrid Fungus and Infrastructure Encroachment - The damming of the Kihanasi river is the main factor for this species extinction, with a population of 20,000 individuals in 1999, declining to just three in 2004. In addition, it’s believed that during construction of the dam, the highly destructive Chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was introduced into the environment, aiding in overall depletion. Fortunately the Tanzanian Government, fearful of the species extinction, collected a large population of toads for captive breeding, with the captive population now standing at around 12,000 animals.

Mountain Chicken (Leptodactylus fallax) Critically Endangered

Threats: Habitat Destruction - While initially endangered by excessive harvesting for food, which coupled by a low reproduction rate ensured populations stayed low, almost the entire population of Mountain Chicken habitat was destroyed in 1995, when the volcano Montserrat erupted. Despite this the government of the Dominican Republic has instigated a hunting ban, and has established a successful captive breeding population to aid in the species recovery.


Virgin Islands Coqui (Eleutherodactylus schwartzi) Endangered

Threats: Invasive Species - While many factors are contributing towards the endangerment of the Virgin Islands Coqui, it is the introduction or rats (Rattus rattus), Indian Mongoose (Herpstes edwardsii) and especially the Cuban Tree Frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) that has most contributed to the decline of this species.


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Well that’s one way to beat the heat for sure, and it appears as next weeks ‘flic-flacing’ issue has an equally effective strategy at the same problem as well. But until then critic, comment and suggest future issues as well as making sure you check past issues in Impurest’s Bestiary

Many Thanks

Impurest Cheese