Galaxy frog, which was first spotted in 1878, has been selected as a flagship species for conservation in Mathikettan Shola National Park in Idukki in early June this year.
Renjith had to skip his routine visits for a month due to the COVID-19 lockdown and was not expecting any surprises on his visit last week till he noticed tiny tadpoles in the pond.
The new species were identified and found to be distinct based on multiple criteria, such as their external morphology, DNA, calling pattern, behaviour, and other natural history observations.
The survey recorded 44 species of amphibians and 54 species of reptiles.
A proper 'separation ceremony' was conducted at the Turant Mahadev temple in Bhopal folllowing the heavy rainfall, and the two clay frogs were then released into a vessel filled with water amid chanting of mantras.
The unconventional marriage was performed by Udupi Nagarika Samithi and Pancharathna Seva Trust at a hotel.