New frog species Minervarya Pentali spotted in Western Ghats

Joseph Antony

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Minervarya Pentali

A newly discovered species of frog in Western Ghats has been named after the former Vice Chancellor of Delhi University and renowned Plant Geneticist Deepak Pental. The researchers published a report on the frog Minervarya Pentali after a comprehensive study of 10 years.

The researchers on amphibians in Delhi University are behind the discovery of these tiny frogs. The report of the findings of Uttar Pradesh native Dr Sonali Garg and Keralite Prof. Satyabhama Das Biju appeared in the latest edition of the journal ‘Asian Herpetological Research’.

The frogs which belong to the Minervarya genus in Western Ghats always perplex the herpetologists. The researchers confirmed Minervarya Pentali as a distinct species after analysing the difference in their physiological, genetic and crying patterns. This newly discovered Minervaryan is the tiniest among the others in its family.

The Systemic Lab functioning under Dr Biju in the Environmental Department of Delhi University has conducted the study of one-fourth of amphibians discovered from the Indian Subcontinent.

Dr Biju reverently remembers the encouragement offered by the then Vice Chancellor Prof. Deepak Pentali to open the lab in 2006. The newly discovered species has been named after him to honour his efforts, said Dr Biju.

Dr Sonali who secured Phd in the study of amphibians under the guidance of Dr Biju is a post doctoral researcher in the Delhi University now.

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