New Horned frog species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

Context: Scientists have identified as distinct new species of forest dwelling horned frog from Northeast India as Xenophrys apatani. This species was earlier misidentified as Maoson horned frog which is a native of Vietnam and China.

About new horned frog species (Xenophrys apatani)

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(Image of Xenophrys apatani)

  • This species of frog is known for living amongst litter of tea leaves and sports a small horns.
  • It is dark brown in colour.
  • Found in Tale Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • This newly discovered horned frog has a strong resemblance to the Maoson’s horned frog, which has a wide distribution in Vietnam and China.
  • This species was first identified in 2019 in Arunachal Pradesh but researchers confused with Maoson’s horned frog despite the large geographical distance between Vietnam and North-East India.
  • The horned from species has been named after Apatani tribe which is found in the region around Tale Wildlife Sanctuary.

About Apatani Tribe

  • Apatani tribe predominantly reside in the Lower Subansiri Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, close to the Tale Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • The naming of the frog after the Apatani people is a recognition of this tribal group in conserving wild flora and fauna in the region.
  • Significant aspects about Apatani Tribes:
    • Terraced Paddy fields in Ziro Valley with innovative paddy-cum-fish cultivation system.
    • Apatani women wear nose plugs and face tattoo as a mark of identity within the tribe

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(Terraced rice fish farming system practiced by Ziro Valley by Apatani Tribe)

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(Nose plugs and tatoo by Apatani Tribe)

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