English Name: Indian Paddyfield frog
Scientific Name: Zakerana sahyadrensis
Family : Dicroglossidae
Tamil Name : Thavalai
Description : The Indian paddy field frog is a small to medium sized frog of the Indian wetlands, meadows and other damp ground. It is olive brown in colour with black spots and bands all over the upper surface. Most of the frog that belongs to this species has a white vertebral stripe and the underside is white. In breeding males, the throat is blackish.
Distribution and status : Indian paddy field frog is a frog species of the family widely distributed over much of central northern India and western Peninsular India, Bangladesh, southern Nepal, from lower Punjab to Sind in Pakistan,
Habitat: The Indian paddy field frog is a small-sized frog is a land dwelling species and found in all sort of land habitats including evergreen forests from sea level to 2000 ASL. It is commonly seen long streams and other waterways.
Habits: As the name suggests the paddy field frog is a species commonly found in paddy fields along with rice plants even when there is little standing water. It also inhabits gardens and meadows resting amongst stones and other debris. Large numbers may be seen in grass and wet areas after the rains
Food: Tadpoles feed on algae and diatoms. Adults feed on insects
Life cycle: During the breeding season, males emit advertisement calls, using a single subgular external vocal sac. They start calling after one or two heavy pre-monsoon or monsoon rains in April to June, and continue up to the end of the rainy season in September to October. They call mainly during the night beginning after dusk and continue until the early morning of the following day, preferably sitting in temporary shallow water pools under partly submerged grass or paddy. Eggs which are laid float in the water. Each clutch may contain 150 -1000 eggs. The tadpoles are almost blackish stay together in groups,
Role in the environment: An important component of the freshwater ecosystem. It could be seen in breeding activities after the monsoon months near ponds
Photo source: Dr. J. Subramanean