English Common Name: Indian Burrowing Frog.
Scientific Name:Sphaerotheca breviceps
Family Name: Ranidae
Tamil Name : Mann Thavalai
Description: They are small frog with rsther blunt toad like snout, it varies from pale gray to dark brown in color with black irregular blotches on the body and limbs. Many individual s have a yellow line on the back. The throats of males are blackish, and those of females are usually brown-spotted. The male has two well-developed internal subgular vocal sacs:
Distribution and Status: The Indian burrowing frog (Sphaerotheca breviceps) is a species of frog found in South Asia (Pakistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and probably Bangladesh) .. It is present throughout the subcontinent.
Habitat: This species present in open forests, cultivation and homesteads. Very less information is available on habits except the fact that they emerge from burrows after rains present to breed. It is found in the drier regions of India from the Punjab and Sind to southern India and Sri Lanka. In the Himalayas, it occurs up to about 7000 feet.
Habits: This frog spends much of its life burrowed in the soil, leaves and rat burrows. It comes to the surface mostly to breed. The structure of the hind limbs enables this frog to burrow in the ground for about 1.5 feet.
Food : Mainly insects
Life Cycle: The adults emerge to breed after the monsoon rain. Males start calling from the side of a stagnant watesr to attract females. The eggs are laid in a clutch and they float in Water. Eggs hatch in a period of 44 hrs. Larvae have V shaped a mark between the eyes and a M shaped one on the back. The tadpoles are basically bottom feeders.
Role in the environment: It is a sensitive frog that emerges only to breed during monsoon months.
Photo source: Dr. J. Subramanean