Frenzied mating and a voracious urge for food come collectively to make sure the survival and procreation of the amphibian we’re going to speak about in the present day. At every other time throughout the yr, the Indian Bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus) roam alone and have a assorted boring olive green-brown look, camouflaging effectively with their speedy environment.
When the rain comes down, their breeding season begins, and the males, now yellow, with two blue vocal sacs, set out looking for females, which are usually bigger. If you discover a huge congregation of adults, with the yellow males on high of dull-looking females in and round water our bodies round this time, you understand what they’re upto.
Classified beneath the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Least Concern class, it is one among the most acquainted and ample frogs of South and South-East Asia, and likewise the largest frog present in the Indian Subcontinent. They might be recognized by the pointed snout and lengthy hind limbs, which assist them soar.
Being nocturnal and formidable ambush predators, they lie in wait for his or her unsuspecting prey to return nearer earlier than lunging and grabbing them with their mouths. At instances they could swim or stealthily hop in the direction of their prey as a way to catch them without warning. The highly effective jaws and sharp tooth, environment friendly tongue-play, and pretty giant fingers permit them to seize, constrict and push its helpless meal inside the mouth little by little.
With a giant urge for food and full lack of dietary desire, they’re identified to feed on virtually something, which incorporates a big range of each vertebrates and invertebrates together with bugs, worms, snakes, rodents, fish. They usually interact in cannibalism by feeding on smaller people of their very own type and on different frogs. Even their tadpoles have been noticed to feed on smaller tadpoles of their very own type in addition to on tadpoles of different frogs in the neighborhood.
In the means of the Nature, in addition they are an vital prey-base for a number of different creatures like birds, greater snakes, and at instances determined carnivore mammals. Rat snakes for example stay in sewers and feed on the frogs that additionally inhabit the space.
The Indian Bullfrog’s loud croaking name, attracts the reverse intercourse, but additionally predators, particularly in areas with freshwater our bodies like ponds, marshes, and lakes, a habitat that they like. Their toes are almost completely webbed to assist them alter to the water and the vegetation surrounding it. When threatened, they’ll soar on the floor of the water, identical to on land, regardless of being giant in measurement.
Until late into my profession as a naturalist, I had solely heard this frog in movies posted on-line. Three years in the past, round this time, I acquired a chance from WWF-India to work on a publication on the wetlands of Keoladeo National Park (previously referred to as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary) in Rajasthan.
On a late night recce, the silence of the park burst with an echoed repetitive name of a creature. Somehow, the name appeared pressing and never regular, extra like a plea! On investigating additional, I discovered an unlucky bullfrog in the jaws of a huge Indian Rat Snake close to the reeds of the wetland.
On seeing me, the snake slowly wriggled throughout the periphery of the wetland and made it into the denser reeds. At first, the name turned a little extra determined, slowly fading and disappearing utterly thereafter.
At the as soon as quaint DSOI Army membership in Dhaula Kuan, the place evenings revolved round the adults participating in drinks and dinner, with the younger individuals taking part in video video games at the membership arcade, I’d stand round and watch the swimming pool. The faint reminiscence of these frogs made me realise a lot later, that they have been all Indian Bullfrogs.
Bullfrog legs are thought-about a delicacy and they’re illegally hunted and served in a number of locations throughout the nation although the species is protected beneath Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act of India, 1971. It is the most hunted frog throughout the nation and the forest division works diligently in the direction of any results in try to curb its consumption.
Their opportunistic feeding behaviour, prolific breeding (with giant egg clutches) and flexibility makes them invasive in nature, the place they have a tendency to overpower different native species, a drawback frogs native to Andamans are going through at current. The species was additionally launched in Madagascar and the scenario follows the identical course.
Areas like Sanjay Van and Lodhi Garden are presently homing a giant variety of breeding Indian Bullfrogs.
The author is the founding father of NINOX – Owl About Nature, a nature-awareness initiative. He is the Delhi-NCR reviewer for Ebird, a Cornell University initiative, monitoring uncommon sightings of birds. He previously led a programme of WWF India.