Morphology, ecology, and behaviour of Hylarana intermedia, a Western Ghats frog

Ambika Kamath, Rachakonda Sreekar


Despite being common in the Western Ghats-Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot, Golden-backed frogs (Hylarana, Ranidae) remain poorly studied. In this paper, we present some preliminary data on the morphology, behaviour, and habitat use of Hylarana intermedia, a member of the Hylarana aurantiaca species group. We find evidence for female biased size dimorphism, as well as potential shape differences between the sexes in this species. Additionally, we investigate the relationships between traits that may contribute to male conspicuousness (call rates, dorsal coloration, and body size) in two breeding habitats, a paddy field and a trench. Our results suggest both size-dependent and environment-dependent variation in call rate and colour in this species. Specifically, we find evidence against the adoption of sneaker mating strategies by small males in H. intermedia, and instead find variation both within and between populations in traits contributing to male conspicuousness. We conclude by proposing future directions for research on this common frog species.

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