Frogs—Nature's Bug Zappers

Fact: A single dwarf puddle frog can eat up to one hundred mosquitoes in a single night.*

In a recent article, “Croak, Croak …No More , ” The Times of India reported that in the coastal area of Karwar, India, where there used to be up to 30 species of frogs, now frogs are rarely seen. This concerns environmentalists and health department officials. Frogs eat mosquitoes—lots of mosquitoes, including those that carry diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and chikungunya.

Frog catchers in Karwar capture and kill large numbers of frogs and supply them to hotels in Goa and Mumbai, where they end up on the menus as frogs legs. Indian zoologists are concerned about the possible extinction of the frog species in this area. Although it is illegal in India to capture and kill endangered frogs, the laws aren’t strictly enforced in Karwar. Health officials have seen a spurt in epidemics of both dengue fever and chikungunya.

We need to protect our little amphibian bug zappers…they help to keep us all healthy by munching on insect pests.

Bicolored frog, North Wayanad, Kerala. Photo,  L. Shyamal

Bicolored frog, North Wayanad, Kerala. Photo, L. Shyamal

*from Frogs: A Chorus of Colors by John L. Behler and Deborah A. Behler.