In news: A team of scientists from the University of Delhi and Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) discovered a new species of frog in Arunachal Pradesh and named it Microhyla eos.
- Microhyla are a group of narrow-mouthed frogs (subfamily Microhylinae) that is primarily and widely distributed in Asia.
- Commonly known as 'Rice Frogs' or 'Chorus Frogs', the genus currently comprises 49 recognised species.
- The new frog was discovered from riparian habitats in a primary evergreen forest in the Namdapha Tiger Reserve of the state, which is also the eastern-most protected area in the country.
- Since Arunachal Pradesh is popularly known as ‘the land of rising sun’ or ‘the land of dawn-lit mountains’, the new species has been named as eos, after the mythological Greek goddess of dawn.
Biodiversity in Eastern Himalayas v/s Western Ghats
- The eastern Himalayas are an important part of the Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot, one of the 36 globally recognised regions known for high species diversity and endemism, as well as a high number of globally threatened species.
- However, compared to the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in peninsular India, the eastern Himalayas remain relatively overlooked and unexplored.
- The past decade has witnessed an exponential increase in the number of new amphibian species described from India, particularly the Western Ghats region that has currently over 250 known species.
- However, the rate of discovery and description of novelties from northeast India has been relatively slower compared to the Western Ghats.
- The Northeastern region of India is often considered as a transition zone of faunal elements between the Indian subcontinent and the rest of Asia.