Frog of the Week

Castle Rock Night Frog (Nyctibatrachus petraeus)

Castle Rock Night Frog
photo by Krushnamegh Kunte

Common Name: Castle Rock Night Frog
Scientific Name: Nyctibatrachus petraeus
Family: Nyctibatrachidae – Night Frog family
Locations: India
Size: 1.25 – 1.85 inches (32 – 47 mm)

The Castle Rock Night Frog lives near the streams in the evergreen forests of Castle Rock in the western Ghats of India. Mating season coincides with the start of the southwest monsoon season in late May / early June. Males call from leaves overhanging streams. The female selects her mate but the male picks the spot to lay the eggs. The Castle Rock Night Frog do not perform amplexus (where the male grabs the female from behind) when mating. The female lays between 10 to 50 eggs and leaves. Then, the male comes over and fertilizes the eggs. Then, the male moves to a different spot on the leaf and calls for a new female. The mating season lasts until September. Once the eggs hatch, the tadpoles fall into the stream below where they will complete their metamorphosis.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assess the Castle Rock Night Frog as Least Concern for Extinction The frog is common in its large range. However, the forests of the western Ghats have been changed by humans. Portions of the forests has been changed to plantations for Eucalyptus, coffee, and tea and more land continues to change.

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