The World's Ugliest Frog Has An Adorably Clumsy Mating Ritual

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If you've never seen a Purple Frog before, that's in part because the amphibian does everything underground—except breed. For the first time, the mating of the Purple Frog has been captured on film, and, well, it's a bit tricky for the frogs.

The Purple Frog is native to India's Western Ghats, and as with many frogs, mating involves the male climbing onto the female's back. But the shape of the Purple Frog's body is perfectly adapted for living underground. They have wide, chubby bodies and short, stubby legs. That's great for crawling beneath the mud, but not so great for scrambling onto another, larger frog's back. It takes a while.


The frogs mate during the two weeks following monsoon season. The male calls out to the females, hoping to attract one from her burrow. Once a female has accepted a male's call, the scrambling begins. You can see the full video (with even more slippery mating attempts), filmed for the Life Force 2 series, over at Vimeo.

Purple Frog mating (First record on video) [Vimeo via It's Okay To Be Smart]