16th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
bush froglets inside egg - life before birth

Encased in their transparent “bubble-eggs”, dozens of Amboli bush froglet was curling up for one more night before taking birth into this world. The female frog lays eggs on mosses to get cover from torrential rains. Eggs are maximum 4mm in size no bigger than a grain and generally lay in a cluster. Some eggs, though not actually, are apparently looking out of shape because of the refraction from the heavy flow of rain water coming through the leaves. It was remarkable seeing the incredibly small almost full grown frogs move inside the eggs every now and then, as if experiencing creation of life first hand. The Amboli bush frog (Pseudophilautus amboli) is a critically endangered shrub frog species endemic to the Western Ghats Mountains who, very uniquely, does not metamorphose through the tadpole phase in their life cycle.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 08.2018
Date Uploaded: 11.2018
Photo Location: amboli, India
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Copyright: © Mainak Ray