Indian Frog Growing Mushroom On It Sighted In Western Ghats

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Environmental News, Wildlife

Home » Environmental News » Indian Frog Growing Mushroom On It Sighted In Western Ghats

Researchers in India have identified an uncommon frog displaying an unprecedented occurrence in the animal realm—a mushroom growing from its side.

In the Western Ghats, a biodiversity-rich region in India, a specimen of Rao’s Intermediate Golden-backed Frog (Hylarana intermedia) was observed with a rare occurrence—a Bonnet Mushroom sprouting from its side. Typically found on decaying wood, the mushroom intrigued researchers from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) who reported the discovery in the journal Reptiles and Amphibians. While the scientists speculated that the moist environment of the Western Ghats might have facilitated the mushroom’s growth, they could not capture the frog for closer examination, leaving the questions about the phenomenon unanswered.

The team of mycologists from WWF emphasized the crucial roles fungi play in nutrient cycling, serving as saprotrophs, symbionts, or even parasites for plants and animals. In the context of amphibians, the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been associated with chytridiomycosis, a disease that impacts various amphibian species worldwide. Chytridiomycosis mainly disrupts the skin of amphibians, affecting their capacity to exchange water, electrolytes, and gases through the skin.

Indian Frog Growing Mushroom On It Sighted In Western Ghats

The researchers also observed that the frog growing mushroom seemed healthy and unaffected by the presence of the fungal companion, which appeared to thrive on the nutrients present on the moist skin of the amphibian. However, whether the fungus had a beneficial or detrimental impact remains unclear, as the scientists refrained from capturing the frog for additional examination.

Regarding the mushroom, utilizing a frog as a means of transportation and nutrition might be an ingenious strategy. The spore-bearing pileus typically relies on wind, water, or accidental transport for spreading and reproduction. Hitching a ride on a frog could facilitate the dispersion of spores, allowing the fungal species to grow its colony over greater distances.

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