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PIC: Abhishek Jain

The shrub frog is a tiny amphibian found in the tropical, wet, evergreen forests of the Western Ghats. It belongs to a group of tree frogs that undergo “direct development”, which means that there is no tadpole stage unlike in other frogs.

In most cases, the female shrub frog releases its eggs in holes of trees, under the moss-covered forest floor or deep inside the base of bamboo clumps. The embryo inside the jelly capsule of the egg gets all its nourishment from the yolk — the yellow part in the picture. The transparent globule protects the embryo from parasites. It also maintains 100 per cent humidity, which is necessary for its survival. The embryo has a tail which it uses to breathe but this gets absorbed into the body before the egg hatches.

After about 30 days, the embryo uses an ‘egg tooth’ to slit the capsule and emerges as a smaller version of the adult. It then feeds on the remaining yolk.

Sanctuary Asia

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