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Killer tadpoles threaten Andaman archipelago’s native frog species

11 April 2019

Popular article on killer tadpoles

Nitya’s prize winning popular article has finally come out in The Conversation. The article, which covers the content of Nitya’s recent paper in Biological Invasions.

You may remember that at the CIB Annual Research Meeting, Nitya won the prize for the best PhD popular article. His cash prize enables him to go to an international meeting, and he's chosen to go and present at the 3rd Island Biology conference on La Réunion in July 2019. 


Note Nitya's new tag-line is as a post-doc at Stellenbosch University. Yes, Dr Nitya graduated, and you can read about that day here.

Perinchery, A. Indian bullfrogs take to invasive behaviour early in Andamans. The Hindu.

Mohanty, N. (2019) Killer tadpoles threaten Andaman archipelago’s native frog species. The Conversation.

and an article on the CIB website:

  Frogs  Lab  prizes

Nitya's big day

05 April 2019

Graduation day for Dr Nitya Prakesh Mohanty & Kirstin Stephens MSc

Graduation day is a a scarlet affair for PhD graduands at Stellenbosch University. Here is the recently hooded Dr Mohanty:

Here's what I had to read:

“Mister Vice-Chancellor”

Responding to novel invasions requires the collection of key variables. This work used the invasion of non-native Indian bullfrogs on the Andaman Islands to pioneer new methods in determining the time of colonisation, modes of dispersal and spread rates. Quantifying the impact allowed development of a model to predict potential international impact.

I request you to confer the degree on Nitya Prakesh Mohanty.

A hall full of graduands. The first two rows contain all the PhDs in scarlet. Behind them the MScs and at the back Honours and BScs. Can you see Nitya checking his phone in the front row?

Also graduating today was Kirstin Stephens MSc (cum laude) who is an honorary member of the MeaseyLab as I co-supervised her study with Jaco le Roux. Sadly, we didn't manage to get a pic with Kirstin after the big event, but here's one snapped by her mum.

Congratulations to you both!

Mohanty, N.P. 2019. The invasive Indian bullfrog Hoplobatrachus tigerinus on the Andaman Islands: Evaluating drivers of distribution, density, and trophic impact of an early stage invader. PhD Thesis. Stellenbosch University

Stephens, K. 2019. Impacts of invasive birds: assessing the incidence and extent of hybridization between invasive Mallard Ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) and native Yellow-billed Ducks (Anas undulata) in South Africa. MSc Thesis. Stellenbosch University

  Frogs  Lab

Prolific Nitya knocks out another

03 April 2019

No Survival! Nitya finds that native tadpoles don't last more than a week

In a new study published today by Nitya Mohanty & colleague, an enclosure experiment shows how native amphibians from the biodiverse Andaman Islands don't stand a chance in the presence of the Indian Bullfrog. Mohanty used paddling pools as enclosures for freshly laid amphibian eggs in the wet season of these paradise islands. After the first week, Nitya noticed that nearly all of the native tadpoles that had been placed in pools with invasive Indian Bullfrogs had been eaten. He already knew that Indian Bullfrogs had carnivorous tadpoles, but he didn't expect them to be this voracious. Even in pools with only Indian Bullfrog tadpoles, the numbers quickly reduced so that only a few were left. 

After many weeks of endless rain, lots of measurements and tadpole watching, Nitya's results showed that in the absence of Indian Bullfrogs, the local tadpoles did fine, all metamorphosing with minimal problems. However, when Indian Bullfrog tadpoles were present, there was simply no survival.

Above you can see Nitya by his pools in the stunning grounds of the marvellous Andaman & Nicobar Environmental Team (ANET) in Wandoor, South Andaman (click here for a map). 

You can read all about Nitya's study in this excellent new paper:

And when he's not busy watching tadpoles, you can always find Nitya sucking on a nut...

Read the latest research at:

Mohanty, N.P. & Measey, J. (in press) No survival of native larval frogs in the presence of invasive Indian bullfrog Hoplobatrachus tigerinus tadpoles Biological Invasions  DOI: 10.1007%2Fs10530-019-01985-z pdf

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