Wednesday 12 June
Raorchestes (Raorchestes manohari)
- Raorchestes manohari was discovered as recently as 2008.
- Raorchestes manohari’s scientific name, manohari, means ‘beautiful’ or ‘pretty’ in the Malayalam language.
- Although it looks similar to other species within its genus, Raorchestes manohari can be distinguished by its small size, dark markings and feeble vocalisations.
- A habitat specialist, Raorchestes manohari is only found in reedy highland areas.
Raorchestes fact file
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A small, slender, distinctive amphibian, Raorchestes manohari is described as being one of the most beautiful species within its genus (2) (3). This reed-dwelling bush frog is named after T.M. Manoharan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests in Kerala, India (2), while also being named for its attractiveness, with manohari meaning ‘beautiful’ or ‘pretty’ in the Malayalam language (2) (3).
Raorchestes manohari has bright yellow upperparts covered in yellow granules. This vivid colouration is interspersed with fine brown spots, which are particularly conspicuous towards the head, and the upperparts are marked with dark brown or black spots. The throat and underparts of Raorchestes manohari are whitish, while the eyes are silvery blue with a fine, black, net-like pattern. Raorchestes manohari has a rounded snout and relatively long hind limbs. While the hind feet are weakly webbed, no webbing is present on the forefeet (2).
Raorchestes manohari is similar in appearance and colour to Raorchestes luteolus and Raorchestes ochlandrae, but can be distinguished from these two species by its small size, distinct dark markings and its call. The call of Raorchestes manohari is a feeble, five- or six-note ‘tick…tick’ (2).
- Also known as
- elegant bush frog, Manohar's bush frog.
- Snout-vent length: c. 18 mm (2)
Zachariah, A., Dinesh, K.P., Kunhikrishnan, E., Das, S., Raju, D.V., Radhakrishnan, C., Jafer Palot, M. and Kalesh, S. (2011) Nine new species of frogs of the genus Raorchestes (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae) from southern Western Ghats, India. Biosystematica, 5(1): 25-48.
ARKive - Western Ghats:
ARKive - Newly discovered species:
- A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
IUCN Red List (December, 2012)
Zachariah, A., Dinesh, K.P., Kunhikrishnan, E., Das, S., Raju, D.V., Radhakrishnan, C., Jafer Palot, M. and Kalesh, S. (2011) Nine new species of frogs of the genus Raorchestes (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae) from southern Western Ghats, India. Biosystematica, 5(1): 25-48. Available at:
Abraham, R. (2011) More frog bounties from India’s peninsular mountains. Froglog, 98: 19-21. Available at:
AmphibiaWeb - Raorchestes manohari (December, 2012)
Pradeep Kumar, K.I., Zachariah, A., Raju, D.V., Ansil, B.R., Das, S., Jafer Palot, M., Kunhikrishnan, E. and Abraham, R.K. (2011) A Report on the Preliminary Survey of the Frog Fauna in Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary, Kollam District, Kerala State, India. Kerala Forests and Wildlife Department, India. Available at:
- Bawa, K.S., Das, A., Krishnaswamy, J., Karanth, K.U., Kumar, N.S. and Rao, M. (2007) Ecosystem Profile: Western Ghats and Sri Lanka Biodiversity Hotspot - Western Ghats Region. Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund, Virginia.
Conservation International: Biodiversity Hotspots - Western Ghats and Sri Lanka (March, 2011)
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Raorchestes manohari was only discovered as recently as 2008 (3), and there is currently no information available on the biology of this species.Top
Raorchestes manohari is a specialised frog which inhabits highland reeds, particularly Ochlandra species (2) (3) (5), and is thought to occur at elevations of around 600 metres (2). Although little is known about this species’ habitat, an adult Raorchestes manohari was found within reeds at a height of approximately three metres above the ground (2).Top
Raorchestes manohari has yet to be classified on the IUCN Red List.Top
As Raorchestes manohari is relatively new to science, there have been very few studies on it to date. As a result, there are currently no known major threats to this species.
However, much of the Western Ghats is currently under threat from habitat fragmentation and degradation, with only a third of the region still supporting its natural vegetation (6). Selective logging, conversion of land to agriculture, and clearance of land for the construction of roads, railways and reservoirs are all key contributors to habitat loss in the Western Ghats (7).Top
Although there are no known conservation measures specifically targeting Raorchestes manohari, this species has been recorded in the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala, and so is offered some protection (5).Top
Find out more
Find out more about Raorchestes manohari and other newly discovered frog species in India:
Learn more about the Western Ghats ecoregion:
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