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A charming blob

July 19, 2010

Calluella guttulata, or ‘Orange Burrowing Frog’ is a Thai frog that escapes the drought by going underground. After a rain, it will crawl out of its den and then try to find the nearest water for reproduction.

Like so many other amphibians, it is endangered. The diminishing numbers have been explained by various reasons including a fungal disease, but it seems unlikely that a 360 million year old group of organisms would meet a single killer organism. Destruction of wetlands and hunting of edible species occur for sure around us here in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, but most importantly the worldwide use of neurotoxins to battle mosquito larvae affects the amphibians, also in ‘untouched’ areas of the planet. Home gardeners can provide shelter for endangered frogs and toads by not using chemicals.

If you do not care about frogs, consider that Parkinson’s Disease is due to damage of the brain’s neurons, which is exactly what the common pesticides temephos and malathion do. At Dokmai Garden we try our best to stay away from pesticides, although it means our leaves are full of holes. In return, we have numerous butterflies, wild bees and  charming blobs like the one below.

Eric Danell

Calluella guttulata. Photo at Dokmai Garden by Martina Stöhrova.

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