The Critically Endangered Kirthisinghe’s rock frog is a very rare species endemic to the island of Sri Lanka.
Kirthisinghe’s rock frog belongs to a small genus of frogs endemic to Sri Lanka. These frogs diverged from all other living amphibians around 40 million years ago. This was around the time humans last shared a common ancestor with capuchin and tamarin monkeys!
They are stream-dwelling and are found in crevices, under boulders and other wet surfaces in rocky hill streams of montane forests.
Unfortunately, its distribution is severely fragmented and the species is in decline as a result of water pollution agrochemicals used on tea and cardamom estates, the grazing of livestock and disturbance by tourism. Kirthisinghe’s rock frog occurs in the Knuckles forest Reserve, but improved protection and maintenance of the existing habitat is needed alongside educating tourists on how not to disturb the habitat.
- Order: Anura
- Family: Dicroglossidae
- Population: Rare
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 25mm
This species is endemic to Sri Lanka and is restricted to the Knuckles Mountain range at 200-1,220 metres above sea level.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in rocky hill streams that flow through montane forests. The species is largely aquatic and adults are often found in crevices, under boulders and on other wet surfaces. Tadpoles are found on wet rock surfaces.