This species is endemic to the southern Western Ghats of India, where it is known only from three sites: Kalakad in the Agasthyamala Hills; the Indira Ghandi National Park in the Anaimalai Hills, Tamil Nadu; and Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala. The altitudinal range of the species is reported to be 900-1,200m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is terrestrial and associated with leaf-litter, rocks and other ground cover of moist evergreen tropical forest; it has been collected in patches of degraded tropical forest close to primary forest. It breeds in pools in streams where calling males have been observed (Daltry and Martin 1997). There is little further information on its breeding biology or larval ecology.
This is an extremely rare species that was only recently rediscovered. The population is fragmented and is presumed to be declining.
The major threat to this species is conversion of forested areas to cultivated land (including eucalyptus, coffee, and tea plantations); the development of dams within the region may pose an additional threat.
It has been recorded from several protected areas, including: Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and Indira Gandhi National Park, and from Periyar Tiger Reserve.
S.D. Biju, Karthikeyan Vasudevan, Gajanan Dasaramji Bhuddhe, Sushil Dutta, Chelmala Srinivasulu, S.P. Vijayakumar 2004. Melanobatrachus indicus. In: IUCN 2014