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Friday, January 9, 2009

Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis

This frog is a living fossil. It seems it might have split up from other frogs about 150 million years ago and has not changed much since than. There are no close relatives in terms of species for this frog and the nearest one is in the Seychelles islands. It feels like a big bag of jelly when you hold it in your hand and I must say, its a very strong frog.

We managed to find few pairs of the Purple frogs and we filmed/photographed them from many angles. I think we might be the first ones to have filmed this frog.

The Purple frog in the forest undergrowth

However, to make it a good sequence, we needed some action/behavior from the frogs. We have been trying to get the frogs turned on, and get on with what they came out of the ground for. But they just don't seem to be in the mood. We tried giving them a comfortable and romantic room (read lot of mud and rain), we tried romantic music (read loud male frog calls from the speakers) and we even tried turning the lights out (read night time), but the male and female just don't seem to be interested. They usually mate and lay their eggs within a week and head back into the ground.

With the monsoon acting all funny, the frogs are quite confused too. They have been coming out for every small shower thinking its the monsoon and have been borrowing themselves back in the ground once the rains stopped. We are still on a standby here, just in case the frogs do come out and decide to mate now.

Filming them has not been easy. We were mostly filming in heavy rain in middle of the jungle. That meant at any point of time, we had hundreds of leeches on each of us and we could not remove them either as we were busy filming all along.

In the meantime, we did manage to get some good footage of snakes, landscapes and the endangered Lion-tailed macaque.

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