14th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
MATHERAN INDIAN FROG WITH GIANT EARTHWORM
TOO BIG A BITE: The Matheran Indian frog (Indirana leithii) steadies itself on a twig after tumbling several times trying to swallow a giant earthworm. The species is endemic to the Western Ghats and is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List as its extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 sq.km, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat. It is mostly threatened by the conversion of forested land to intensive agricultural use. Harvesting of wood for subsistence use by local people and road construction are also threats. The type locality, Matheran, where this specimen was photographed in the monsoon months is threatened by rapid tourism development.
© Rizwan Mithawala.
All rights reserved.
||Nov. 23, 2016, 3:31 a.m.