JUL 21, 2019 6:58 AM PDT

Researchers Discover Two New Frog Species in Ecuador

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

It seems like newly-discovered animal species are being described and named in scientific journals regularly. With that in mind, it shouldn’t come off as much of a surprise to anyone that researchers recently happened upon two frog species that are entirely ‘new to science’ while exploring forests in the Southern Ecuadorian Andes.

This is one of the newly-discovered frog species.

Image Credit: UCF, Veronica Urgiles

The findings, which were published just this past week in the journal ZooKeys, describe two of the latest additions to the genus Pristimantis, including the black and brown P. quintanai and the black and green P. cajanuma.

The researchers involved in the study had been observing these frogs in the wilderness for the last several years, but it wasn’t until after a multitude of observations and scientific tests that it became evident that they were dealing with new species.

At just 0.8-inch long, these frogs aren’t particularly large, but their distinctive colors help them blend in with their surroundings. Moreover, they differ from other known species genetically and exhibit a particularly distinct type of development process when compared to others of their kind:

"One of the things that I found most interesting about these guys is that they don't have metamorphosis like a regular frog, but instead they develop entirely inside eggs that adult females deposit in the ground," elucidated Veronica Urgiles, the paper’s lead author.

"They really don't need water bodies for their development. Both of the new frog species inhabit high elevation ecosystems in the mountain range over 8,000 feet," she continued. "So even though we are right there in the equator, it's very cold and windy most of the year."

Related: This elusive and red-legged frog is making a comeback in Yosemite

DNA samples confirmed that P. quintanai and P. cajanuma are new species, but given just how little we know about the biological diversity in the region of the world where they were found, it’s entirely possible that there could be other close relatives to these frogs that have yet to be discovered.

"I have been looking at these frogs for years now, so going over the whole process of observing them in their habitats and then analyzing them and comparing them under the microscope, to finally naming them is a long, but very satisfying journey."

Related: Another new frog species has been found in Australia

Perhaps continued observations in the region will help scientists learn more about the new species and discern whether others have yet to be identified.

Source: University of Central Florida via Science Daily, ZooKeys

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 14, 2021
Microbiology
Leprosy Has Been Detected in Wild Chimpanzees for the First Time
OCT 14, 2021
Leprosy Has Been Detected in Wild Chimpanzees for the First Time
Leprosy has been infecting people since ancient times, and is estimated to have caused about 202,000 new infections in 2 ...
OCT 26, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Glomalin, The Protein that Can Heal the Earth
OCT 26, 2021
Glomalin, The Protein that Can Heal the Earth
Soil quality is growing ever more important as we attempt to feed the growing world population. Our soils are being degr ...
OCT 28, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
RIP Indica/Sativa Cannabis Distinction - Trick, Treat, or Terpene?
OCT 28, 2021
RIP Indica/Sativa Cannabis Distinction - Trick, Treat, or Terpene?
For years, Cannabis growers, breeders, and users have distinguished cultivars using vernacular Sativa/Indica labels. Wit ...
NOV 16, 2021
Plants & Animals
Climate Change is Affecting the Shape and Size of Amazon Birds
NOV 16, 2021
Climate Change is Affecting the Shape and Size of Amazon Birds
The Amazon Rainforest is one of the most biodiverse locations on Earth, home to more than 3 million different species. I ...
NOV 22, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Revealing the Battle Between Organisms & Selfish Genetic Elements
NOV 22, 2021
Revealing the Battle Between Organisms & Selfish Genetic Elements
Evolution has allowed organisms to adapt to their environments, sometimes in very specific ways, through changes in thei ...
NOV 30, 2021
Plants & Animals
"Once-in-a-Generation" Discovery of New Tardigrade Species in Amber
NOV 30, 2021
"Once-in-a-Generation" Discovery of New Tardigrade Species in Amber
Tardigrades might be the toughest little creatures around. These minuscule eight-legged vertebrates can survive in outer ...
Loading Comments...