Scientific Name: Euphlyctis hexadactylus
Family : Dicroglossidae
Tamil Name : Pachchai thavalai
Description: The Indian pond frog is a medium to large sized frog that is commonly seen in freshwater ponds throughout the plains of peninsular India. Coloration is bright green or olive green above with a whitish yellow vertebral line from snout to vent. A black streak along the eye to the shoulder fold is present. The young frogs are brightly coloured with streaks of green and black
Distribution and status : It is a common species of aquatic frog found in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.it is restricted to peninsular India occurring in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Orissa and southwards till Kerala.
Habitat: This frog prefers ponds with dense water vegetation and this frog floats on the surface camouflaging with the green vegetation. The frog keeps clear of open water.
Habit: It is locally abundant in ponds where there is plenty of water vegetation. It jumps with a splash from the water when disturbed. It is not found above 700m ASL. It is also found in the stagnant waters of the coastal plains. It emerges from the water during the monsoon rains to breed when they can be seen on roads. They get crushed down by vehicles during this time. Young individuals feed on a variety of insects, fish and small frogs. It is consumed by locals the flesh of which is considered tasty.
Food: The diet of adult green pond frogs is unusual in that plant leaves and some flowers constitute a large part of their diets. However, they also consume invertebrates and small vertebrates
Life cycle: The Indian Pond Frog breeds after the monsoon rains. Eggs are lain in ponds or rice fields Gravid females lay close to 2000+ eggs.. The tadpoles resemble Skipper frogs’ tadpole in appearance although smaller.
Role in the environment: It is a large frog that floats on the surface of stagnant ponds or inside vegetation in ponds. Because of its feeding habits it is also an indicator of the pond ecosystem. Their populations were eradicated by the frog leg industry before the enactment of the Wildlife Protection Act that banned the collection of frogs for their legs. Irulas of Kancheepuram district catch these frogs with a hook and line baited with bits of leaves of shoe flower (Hibiscus rosasinensis) and catch them.
Photo source: Dr.J. Subramanean