Researchers have described two new species of clown frogs from the Amazon. Clown frogs, named after their bright colors, are from the genus Dendropsophus in the family Hylidae or the tree frog family. The new species were considered to belong to other species but because of their DNA and unique calls, they were moved to their own species. The frogs were considered part of the species Dendropsophus leucophyllatus and Dendropsophus triangulum. Researchers believe there could be 3 or 5 more different species that are considered those two species.
Caminer, M. A., Milá, B., Jansen, M., Fouquet, A., Venegas, P. J., Chávez, G., … & Ron, S. R. (2017). Systematics of the Dendropsophus leucophyllatus species complex (Anura: Hylidae): Cryptic diversity and the description of two new species. PloS one, 12(3), e0171785. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171785
A new species of frog was discovered in Vietnam by the wonderful Jodi Rowley (@jodirowley on twitter, give her a follow), Curator of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Biology at the Australian Museum Research Institute, and colleagues.
They named the species the Stone Leaf-Litter Frog (Leptolalax petrops) because of its stone like appearance. It was placed in the family Megophryidae – the Leaf Litter Frogs.
Researchers first thought the frog was a new species because of its appearance and its fast paced call. Sadly, the researchers suggested the frog to be listed as Vulnerable because it was found in only two locations where deforestation is occurring.
Rowley JJL, et al (2017) A new species of Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from northern Vietnam. Zootaxa 4243 (3): 544–564. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4243.3.7
Researchers discovered three new species of cryptic frogs in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. The new species are Chiasmocleis altomontana, C. veracruz, and C. migueli. They are part of the genus Chiasmocleis which are the humming frogs. Cryptic species are species that look identical to each other on the outside but are genetically different.
To tell these three species apart from other members of their genus, scientists looked at the skeletons. They noticed significant differences. After they found differences in the bones, the researchers looked more carefully at the outer appearance of the frogs and noticed small differences.
The new frogs can’t even be listed with the IUCN Red List because there isn’t enough data. Almost a third of of the humming frogs are listed as data deficient.
Forlani, M. C., Tonini, J. F., Cruz, C. A., Zaher, H., & de Sá, R. O. (2017). Molecular and 2017) Molecular and morphological data reveal three new cryptic species of Chiasmocleis (Mehely 1904) (Anura, Microhylidae) endemic to the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. PeerJ 5:e3005https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3005
Researchers Juan Guayasamin and Chris Funk discovered a new frog species in Ecuador’s cloud forests. They were studying the Ornate Rain Frog (Pristimantis ornatissimus) when they found a population of the species that was different. They figured out that it was a new species! The researchers called it the Ecuadorian rain frog (Pristimantis ecuadorensis). They also classified it as critically endangered due to limit range and habitat loss.
Researchers discovered two new species of toads. One was located in a cave on a volcano and the other in some trees nearby in Indonesia. The teams named the toads “puppet toads”. DNA tests showed the two toads to be distinct from other toads and the scientists placed them in a new genus called Sigalegalephrynus. They also found a few more toads that they claim to be part of the genus but they haven’t described them yet.