Scientists uncover new species of Andean marsupial frog
by Jordanna Dulaney
Recently, herpetologists welcomed a new species of marsupial frog, known as Gastrotheca dysprosita and described in the journal Phyllomedusa.
Unlike mammal marsupials, which typically carry their young in pouches on their torsos and are found primarily in Australia, the Gastrotheca genus of frogs, which contains 62 species, is found in the Andes region on South America and sport their pouches on their backs (also called a “dorsal brood pouch”).
The female frog’s vascular tissue provides oxygen to the eggs, which she carries for three to four months until they hatch as fully-developed froglets and head off on their own…
Pristimantis gaigei (Craugastoridae) is a nocturnal species of primary humid lowland forest, and secondary forest. Adults are found under surface debris and in leaf-litter, its range often associated with caves or rocky stream banks. It breeds by direct development. This species is native to Colombia; Costa Rica, and Panama [source].
The Prince Charles stream tree frog, Hyloscirtus princecharlesi (Hylidae) is a tree frog found in Ecuador, described in 2012 and named after Principe Charles, recognising the Prince’s work advocating rainforest conservation (source).
Cruziohyla calcarifer (Hylidae) from Sarapiquí, Heredia, Costa Rica.
This species was previously within the genus Agalychnis but was moved to the new genus Cruziohyla in 2005.
The Splendid Trrefrog is native to Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. This species is often considered to be rare, although more likely it is under-recorded, since it is a canopy frog and has a very soft call. Only occasional individuals are seen from time to time.
Conservationist Dr. Paul Salaman describes efforts to save the endangered golden poison frog, which releases enough venom to kill up to 13 adult humans.
by Eric Niiler
For most of his career, conservationist Paul Salaman has been traipsing across South and Central America, looking for unusual animals that call tropical rain forests home. In recent years he has become obsessed by the rare golden poison frog, one of the world’s most toxic animals.
The amphibians — which measure about two inches long and are covered by a secretion of a poison known as a batrachotoxin — number fewer than 5,000, all living in a tropical forest along the Pacific coast of Colombia. The species is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list of threatened species.
The golden poison frog is both feared and coveted. Its scientific name, Phyllobates terribilis, includes “the terrible” because its toxins are so poisonous. For centuries, indigenous people used the poison for hunting. They collected the frogs and carefully rubbed their darts on the frog’s back where the toxin is secreted, using it to help bring down game. But doing so was treacherous to humans, too…