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Morphological Phenotypic Plasticity in Kalinga Frog

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    9th Oct, 2020
  • Zoological Survey of India reported a first-of-its-kind discovery of morphological phenotypic plasticity (MPP) in the Kalinga cricket frog.
  • Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of an organism to change in response to stimuli or inputs from the environment. Morphological or physiological phenotypic plasticity in an organism is a behavioral response to a particular environment.
  • Only genetic analysis could help prove that physically different-looking frogs from Eastern and Western Ghats were the same. They looked different due to MPP.
  • Behavioral studies of many anuran (frog or toad) species will help in generating information on the selection of breeding sites, courtship patterns and ecological adaptations.
  • This information will help trace the distribution of these species along the peninsula region of India and can be used to evaluate the possible links with other species that were found in the Northeast region.
  • It was thought to be endemic only to the higher-elevation hill ranges of the Eastern Ghats in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
  • However, it has been reported from the central Western Ghats, with the evidence of considerable MPP.
  • Its physical characteristics are entirely different from the other known Fejervaraya/Minervarya species from the Western Ghats.
  • Cricket frogs are indicators of a healthy ecosystem and live in wide habitat ranges in agricultural fields, streams, swamps and wetlands.

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