AmphibiaWeb provides information on amphibian declines, natural history, conservation, and taxonomy.

Species of the Week:
Raorchestes ochlandrae | Ochlandra Shrub Frog

Amphibian News
Factors responsible for the high numbers of species of tropical amphibians remain elusive. A new study (Vijayakumar et al. 2016) of the Shrub Frogs (Raorchestes), the largest vertebrate radiation in Peninsular India, tests alternative hypotheses using a well-resolved, dated phylogeny and information on geological and geographic events, glaciation and climatic history, and ecology (e.g., ecological gradients). All of these factors have played roles in clade diversification, but they vary across space in their effects and have acted at different times during the last (at least) 30 million years. The study highlights the significance of a major gap (Palghat Gap) in the Western Ghats system, and the importance of the geography of the different massifs making up the system. Although most species formation has been allopatric in nature, high elevation massifs have acted as centers of diversification, with parapatry being important, whereas low and mid-elevation portions of the southern Western Ghats act as biodiversity "museums".

Current number of amphibian species: 7,561 (Aug 31, 2016) Newly added species