17 Purple Pig Nosed Frog Facts You’ll Never Forget

 An European tree frog

The purple pig-nosed frog, Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis, is a frog species that belongs to the family of Nasikabatrachidae and is usually found inhabiting the Western Ghats in India.

This species is commonly called the purple frog, pignose frog, or Indian purple frog. This species of frog is considered to be amongst the rarest new species of frogs in the world with their purple skin and unusual nose. It was first discovered by the researchers S.d Biju and nd Franky Bossuyt in Kerala near the Idukki district. It is an endemic species from the Western Ghats in India and was first discovered when it came out during the monsoon during mating season. The discovery of this new species has been a great milestone for the history of the discovery and also for the bio-geographers and has been termed as a ‘once in a century find’.

Because they are endemic to the Western Ghats, they are soon to be declared as the official amphibian of Kerala. This proposal by a senior officer is in the active consideration of the state government.

The scientific name of this unusual species of purple frogs as coined by researchers is Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis is derived from the Sanskrit word 'nāsikā' which stands for 'nose' and the Greek word 'batrachos' which stands for 'frog' as per the National Geographic. It is also often called Bhupathy's purple frog by the local inhabitants of the area Sahyadri, which is its native name given by the local people in the Western Ghats. It is named after its unusual snout or pointed nose that they use to hunt for insects like termites which live underground rather than flies that hover above them. These colorful frog species with unusual and natural noses spend their life underground after burrowing and it is their ideal natural habitat and ideal to breed do not live with their family or their mate. Bhupathy's purple frog can also be discovered behind waterfalls where they cling to rocks behind these waterfalls during the monsoon season in India.

In this article, you will find a detailed description of the unique amphibian Bhupathy's purple frog, Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis found in India's Western Ghats.

If you liked our article on the purple pig-nosed Bhupathy's purple frog, you can check out other similar articles like little grass frog and African reed frog.

Purple Pig Nosed Frog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a purple pig nosed frog?

As per National Geographic, the Bhupathy's purple frog is the rarest species of frog in the world which is endemic to India's Western Ghats.

What class of animal does a purple pig nosed frog belong to?

The purple frogs belong to the class of Amphibia just like every other frog but have a classic feature that sets them apart from every other frog. When the tadpoles grow into adults, they have a distinct snout shaped like a pig's nose and a purple-colored body exclusive to this species only.

How many purple pig nosed frogs are there in the world?

According to National Geographic, the frog population of Bhupathy's purple frog has been greatly threatened by climate change and humans. There are roughly 135 individual purple frogs in the world. They are critically endangered because the purple frog tadpoles are hunted to be consumed.

Where does a purple pig nosed frog live?

Bhupathy's purple frog can be found in the mountain range of India's Western Ghats. They can be found on the rocks behind waterfalls during the monsoon season and closer to the ground in other seasons where they hunt for ants and termites that live underground. This species of purple frog thrives well underground where they can find loose and damp soil that is well-aerated. The purple frog species usually spends most of its adult life underground in India's Western ghats where it can hunt for its favorite food, termites.

What is a purple pig-nosed frog's habitat?

This new species of purple frogs can be found living their life underground and also close to the ground near damp soil close to small water bodies and waterfalls during the monsoons. The habitat of the purple frog also includes mountain range areas and underground dark tunnels. They can be seen burrowing underground where they can hunt for food as well as lay their eggs to hatch tadpoles after mating.

Who does the purple pig-nosed frog live with?

These frogs are known to live isolated lives and do not prefer living in packs. The male frogs of this species do not mate for life. They only interact with the females during mating season when they ride on the females' back to reach the fertilization site where the eggs are laid. They usually spend their life underground alone.

How long does a purple pig nosed frog live?

It is unknown how long this frog species with purple skin can survive because it spends most of its life under the ground. But, as per the records of researchers, they are known to be living fossils. These researchers have discovered that the frogs belonging to this species existed alongside the dinosaurs and are probably the oldest living frogs in the world.

How do they reproduce?

This frog doesn’t mate for life. During the mating season, the males ride to the fertilization site on the adult female’s body where she lays around 3800 eggs at a time. The adult male further fertilizes them and goes back underground where it spends the rest of the year till the cycle repeats in the following year. When the eggs hatch the purple frog tadpoles attach themselves to the rocks.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these frogs is Endangered according to the IUCN because only a handful number of males and females exist in their population.

Purple Pig Nosed Frog Fun Facts

What do purple pig nosed frogs look like?

Australia green tree frog (Litoria caerulea)

We've been unable to source an image of a purple pig nosed frog and have used an image of a green tree frog instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a purple pig nosed frog, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected]

These frogs have bloated and purple to grayish-colored bodies along with small and fleshy limbs. They have an average size that reaches up to 2.7 in (7 cm), and their head is smaller in comparison to the length of their body. The most striking feature of these frogs is their unique and pointy snout that almost resembles a pig's snout. Its forelimbs are burly and small with hard palms that aids in burrowing through the ground. Its hind legs are short as compared to other frogs and hence they cannot leap from one area to another. Therefore, to cover a good distance they need to take longer strides. The snouts of these frogs give them a heightened sense of smell which helps them hunt termites in the underground soil.

How cute are they?

These frogs are quite unique and unusual looking. Their grayish purple skin and pig-nosed snout almost make them look adorable from certain angles. They are often referred to as the lumpy doughnut of nature because of their chunky stature.

How do they communicate?

These frogs have very distinguished calls which are quite offbeat and differ from the calls of any other standard frog. Their call almost sounds like the clucking sound that chickens make. They are quite loud and easily identifiable. These frogs often croak during the mating season and to help with mating as well.

How big is a purple pig nosed frog?

These frogs are much plumper than any average frog but only reach up to 2.7 in (7 cm) long which is the same as the other frogs which can reach up to the size of 3.5 in (9 cm). They are, however, smaller than the horned frog.

How fast can a purple pig nosed frog jump?

These frogs have very short hind legs compared to other average frogs which rely on jumping to travel from one spot to another. These frogs need to take longer strides to travel fast.

How much does a purple pig nosed frog weigh?

This frog species weighs around 5.8 lb (165 g) which is quite heavy for an average frog. However, their strong and burly feet not only help them burrow but also support their body weight. While these frogs are pretty heavy, they are lighter than the bullfrogs.

What are the male and female names of the species?

This frog species do not have any distinctive names given to the males and females to distinguish between the sexes.

What would you call a baby purple pig nosed frog?

Baby frogs are called tadpoles.

What do they eat?

These frogs mainly feed on termites and ants which they prey upon by sucking them with their snout.

Are they dangerous?

These frogs are not dangerous at all. They are benign, non-poisonous, and are in fact hunted by the locals.

Would they make a good pet?

Frogs make great pets and this frog species with its unique look would be a great addition to your frog collection. But the purple frog is one the rarest and the most unique amongst the frog species. They also spend most of their lives underground feeding on termites and ants. Providing them with both an ideal habitat and diet can be challenging if kept as a pet, therefore, they are not ideal pets at all.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

The purple frog tadpoles are considered a delicacy amongst the local people. Adult purple frogs are hunted and eaten by humans because the locals believe they have medicinal purposes.

Why is the purple pig nosed frog endangered? 

Human activity related to building dams, deforestation, unethical farming, and deforestation have forced these frogs to change their natural habitat because of the impact on the soil. This has also disrupted their natural mating cycle, which only happens once a year, therefore, affecting their population. Locals also hunt and eat the tadpoles and the adult frogs.

How long has the purple frog been around? 

This family of frogs which was discovered in 2003 is endemic to the Indian Western Ghats has existed for around 100 million years. As per the history of evolution, this species is also referred to as living fossils because it is believed that they existed in the time of the dinosaurs. They have been known to exist and evolve independently on their own.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other amphibians from our Mozambique rain frog facts and three-toed amphiuma facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable frog mandala coloring pages.

Main image by Carey James Balboa.

Second image by Stephen Michael Barnett.

We've been unable to source an image of a purple pig-nosed frog and have used an image of a red-eyed tree frog instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a purple pig-nosed frog, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected]

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