Recently, the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has found a new horned frog species in Arunachal Pradesh.

Key Highlights

  • Initially mistaken for the Maoson horned frog (Xenophrys maosonensis), this newly described species is named Xenophrys apatani.
  • Distinct Characteristics and Habitat: Xenophrys apatani is a dark brown frog with small horns, known for inhabiting forested areas, often among tea leaves. 
  • Naming and Cultural Significance: Named after the Apatani tribe, native to the Lower Subansiri Valley where the Tale Wildlife Sanctuary is located, the species honors local conservation efforts and Indigenous knowledge of the region.
    Tale Wildlife Sanctuary (Arunachal Pradesh) At an altitude of 2400 metres, Tale is a plateau with a dense forest of silver fir and pine trees and a vast wasteland. . The area has some of the most important endangered species, including the clouded leopard.

Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)

(ZSI) was established on 1st July, 1916 to promote survey, exploration and research leading to better understanding of Indian Fauna.

  • Function under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • Headquarters: Kolkata, West Bengal

Biogeographic Insights

  • The discovery contributes to understanding the biogeographic distribution of Xenophrys species in India, particularly within the Eastern Himalayas and Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspots.
    Biodiversity hotspots are regions with unique and high levels of diverse species threatened by habitat loss and human activities.

About the Apatani tribe

  • The Apatani are a tribal group of people living in the Ziro valley (within Lower Subansiri Valley) in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • They are known for their fish and paddy culture, along with cane and bamboo crafts. 
  • The elders pass on knowledge through folk stories, songs, and couplets like Miji-Migun and Busi-Ayu.
  • Their major festivals are Marun, Myako, Dree, and Yapung. 
  • The Apatanis speak a local language called Tani and worship the sun and the moon. 

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