Up-close and not so personal with Munnar’s pit vipers, gliding frogs and more
- The canopy of tropical forests in
Munnarand the surrounding regions are rich with a plethora of mammals, reptiles, insects and birds.
- Commonly known as the large-scaled pit viper, these beautiful snakes are listed as ‘Near Threatened’.
frogscan jump and glide from one tree to another, if these are short distances.
AdvertisementThe plantation-cloaked hills of Munnar in
Situated at the eastern edge of Kerala, the canopy of tropical forests in Munnar and the surrounding regions are rich with a plethora of mammals, reptiles, insects and birds -- from the elusive tiger to deer to elephants to packs of wild hogs to a massive variety of birds. However, refreshingly enough, there is a new trend among wildlife enthusiasts who are now leaning towards spotting and learning about the smaller creatures in the forest that otherwise go unnoticed.
Photographer Amit Rane is one such person. He excels in a wide range of photography fields, from landscapes to portraits, but he finds macro photography supremely intriguing. For his camera lens, size and hierarchy really do not matter.
Trimeresurus macrolepis Beddome (Peltopelor macrolepis)
Commonly known as the large-scaled pit viper, these beautiful snakes are listed as ‘Near Threatened’ in the IUCN Red List. Found at elevations between 610 and 2,400 metres above sea level, these snakes are endemic to India. They are found only in the
Business Insider spoke to Ninad Gosavi, a member of faculty in biology at a private institute and one of the editors at Amphibians of India, to share some insights on some of the magnificent frogs that inhabit the area.
Discovered by Günther in 1876, these
Males call during monsoon to attract females and to establish their territory. Females lay eggs on shrubs, trees, inside bamboo, or rock crevices on land (different species have different oviposition sites).
The amazing thing about bush frogs is, unlike other frogs, they complete their tadpole stage inside the egg, and froglets hatch after metamorphosis. Eggs are terrestrial, and they do not require water bodies for development but nice humid weather.
Biju and Bossuyt discovered the Raorchestes chlorosomma in 2009. It is distributed in Munnar, Kerala in the southern Western Ghats. This is a critically endangered species because the habitat is degraded by tea and eucalyptus plantation.
This is a froglet of Rhacophorus malabaricus (Malabar Gliding Frog). The gliding frogs have full webbing between fingers and toes. They can jump and glide from one tree to another (short distances). These frogs build foam nests over a water body, so when tadpoles hatch from eggs, they fall in the water.
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