English Name : Skittering frog
Scientific Name: Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis
Tamil Name : Thavalai
Description: A medium sized frog found in still waters. Females are larger than males. Gray, olive, brown or blackish above with darker spots or marbling dorsally. It is closely related to the Green pond frog (Euphlyctis hexadacatylus) with which it varies in variation in colour, size and morphological characters. Green pond frog is a larger frog and the coloration is also more greenish. The skipper frog has thinner legs.
Distribution and status: It is found throughout the Indian subcontinent. It is the commonest of all the Indian frogs.
Habitat : It is one of the most adaptive in Indian amphibians and is seen in all water bodies including polluted ones upto 2000 ASL. . It is commonly seen in rice fields, irrigation canals, small streams, rain water puddles, tanks and outdoor fish ponds. It is seen at the edge of bodies of water with their eyes above the water. It is also found in brackish waters.
Habits : It can stay floating in the water for considerable period of time. It is known under numerous common names, including Indian skipper frog or skittering frog. They noisily move away from the shore when disturbed, giving them their common name. They are rarely seen outside water. They have the ability to leap out of the water from a floating position to catch insects. They are both diurnal and nocturnal often traveling a lot during the breeding season at night. Where permanent water is available it seen throughout the year. At other places it aestivates. The adults of this species are territorial and aggressive. It commonly seen in open wells and small stagnant ponds.
Food : Feeds on insects and invertebrates.
Life cycle : While calling the vocal sacs of the males project out from slits at the floor of the mouth. The sacs are bluish in colour. The call is distinct and easily recognized. Eggs are laid in foam nest in water. Tadpoles are brown in colour with black blotches on the tail
Role in the environment. It is an important component of the freshwater ecosystem due its feeding habit on insects.
Photo source: Dr. J. Subramanean