Boophis ankarafensis:
A New Species of the Boophis rappiodes group (Anura, Mantellidae) from the Sahamalaza Peninsula, northwest Madagascar, with Acoustic Monitoring of its Nocturnal Calling  [2014]
A new species of treefrog of the Boophis rappiodes group (Anura, Mantellidae) is described from the Sahamalaza – Iles Radama National Park in northwest Madagascar.
This new species is green in colour with bright red speckling across its head and dorsum; similar in morphology to other species of this group including: B. bottae, B. rappiodes, B. erythrodactylus and B. tasymena.
All individuals were detected from the banks of two streams in Ankarafa Forest. The new species represents the only member of the B. rappiodes group endemic to Madagascar’s western coast, with the majority of other members known from the eastern rainforest belt.
Despite its conspicuous call, it has not been detected from other surveys of northwest Madagascar and it is likely to be a local endemic to the peninsula. The ranges of two other amphibian species also appear restricted to Sahamalaza, and so the area seems to support a high level of endemicity.
Although occurring inside a National Park, this species is highly threatened by the continuing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat. Due to these threats it is proposed that this species should be classified as Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List criteria…
read the paper  
(via: NovaTaxa - Species New to Science)

Boophis ankarafensis:

A New Species of the Boophis rappiodes group (Anura, Mantellidae) from the Sahamalaza Peninsula, northwest Madagascar, with Acoustic Monitoring of its Nocturnal Calling  [2014]

A new species of treefrog of the Boophis rappiodes group (Anura, Mantellidae) is described from the Sahamalaza – Iles Radama National Park in northwest Madagascar.

This new species is green in colour with bright red speckling across its head and dorsum; similar in morphology to other species of this group including: B. bottae, B. rappiodes, B. erythrodactylus and B. tasymena.

All individuals were detected from the banks of two streams in Ankarafa Forest. The new species represents the only member of the B. rappiodes group endemic to Madagascar’s western coast, with the majority of other members known from the eastern rainforest belt.

Despite its conspicuous call, it has not been detected from other surveys of northwest Madagascar and it is likely to be a local endemic to the peninsula. The ranges of two other amphibian species also appear restricted to Sahamalaza, and so the area seems to support a high level of endemicity.

Although occurring inside a National Park, this species is highly threatened by the continuing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat. Due to these threats it is proposed that this species should be classified as Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List criteria…

read the paper 

(via: NovaTaxa - Species New to Science)

scientificillustration
jehart:

Red-eyed tree frog life cycle
in watercolour and technical pen on Arches hotpress watercolour board. 
Finally posting this piece, which I finished a while ago. This was part of my semi-private lessons on topics in scientific illustration, and was the first time I’d made a descriptive illustration in watercolour (usually, it’s Adobe Illustrator). I’ve discovered that I’m not so skilled in painting backgrounds, but it was an interesting learning experience, and I think that it would be fun to try again some day. I’m not crazy about the illustration board I use, since it curved severely under heavy washes, so next time I’ll probably use stretched or heavy hotpress paper. On the plus side, it holds up remarkably well to multiple layers of liquid masking fluid. 

jehart:

Red-eyed tree frog life cycle

in watercolour and technical pen on Arches hotpress watercolour board. 

Finally posting this piece, which I finished a while ago. This was part of my semi-private lessons on topics in scientific illustration, and was the first time I’d made a descriptive illustration in watercolour (usually, it’s Adobe Illustrator). I’ve discovered that I’m not so skilled in painting backgrounds, but it was an interesting learning experience, and I think that it would be fun to try again some day. I’m not crazy about the illustration board I use, since it curved severely under heavy washes, so next time I’ll probably use stretched or heavy hotpress paper. On the plus side, it holds up remarkably well to multiple layers of liquid masking fluid. 

The Madagascar Poison Frog, Mantella baroni, lives only in swamp forests, semi-arid streambeds, bamboo groves, and stream side forests in east-central Madagascar. These frogs are active diurnal foragers. They eat various arthropods, mostly ants, but also beetles and mites. This diet creates high alkaloid concentrations in the frogs’ skin, making them toxic to predators. The bright colors of M. baroni are thus aposematic and serve as a warning to predators. Read more: Encyclopedia of LifeImage by Kristian; via iNaturalist.org 

The Madagascar Poison Frog, Mantella baroni, lives only in swamp forests, semi-arid streambeds, bamboo groves, and stream side forests in east-central Madagascar. These frogs are active diurnal foragers. They eat various arthropods, mostly ants, but also beetles and mites. This diet creates high alkaloid concentrations in the frogs’ skin, making them toxic to predators. The bright colors of M. baroni are thus aposematic and serve as a warning to predators.

Read more: Encyclopedia of Life

Image by Kristian; via iNaturalist.org 

libutron
libutron:

Harlequin Toad - Atelopus spumarius barbotini
This is a toad endemic to the Central Massif of French Guiana. It can be easily distinguished from the other species of the Guianan region by its body color and the shape of its dorsal pattern. However, despite being very distinctive, the taxonomy of the species or subspecies is not fully resolved.
Formerly this toad was called Atelopus spumarius barbotini (Bufonidae), but it seems that populations of this form and another ones in the Atelopus spumarius group might be treated as a species complex, and it has not been cleared out how many and how they are related. 
Anyway, the species Atelopus spumarius, including its subspecies, is regarded as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
References: [1] - [2] - [3]
Photo credit: ©Henk Wallays | Locality: Panama (2008)

libutron:

Harlequin Toad - Atelopus spumarius barbotini

This is a toad endemic to the Central Massif of French Guiana. It can be easily distinguished from the other species of the Guianan region by its body color and the shape of its dorsal pattern. However, despite being very distinctive, the taxonomy of the species or subspecies is not fully resolved.

Formerly this toad was called Atelopus spumarius barbotini (Bufonidae), but it seems that populations of this form and another ones in the Atelopus spumarius group might be treated as a species complex, and it has not been cleared out how many and how they are related. 

Anyway, the species Atelopus spumarius, including its subspecies, is regarded as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Henk Wallays | Locality: Panama (2008)

Tiny Newly Discovered Frog From Brazil Given Heroic Name
The Atlantic Forest is a hotspot of biodiversity and one of the most species richness biome of anurans (frogs, tree-frogs, and toads) in the world. However, current levels of diversity might be still underestimated.
In the past few years has been an increase in the description of new endemic species of this biome along with the advance of molecular techniques and availability of samples for DNA analysis.
Using a more extensive number of samples for molecular and morphological analysis, researchers from the University of Richmond and The George Washington University described a tiny new species of narrow-mouthed frog from the Microhylidae family in the open access journal ZooKeys.
Chiasmocleis quilombola occurs in the Atlantic Forest of the Espírito Santo State, southeastern Brazil. Despite its modest size, adults reach only about 14 mm, the new species bears a heroic name inspired by the quilombos communities typical of the Espírito Santo State in Brazil, where the frogs were collected…
(read more: Science Daily)
Credit: João F. R. Tonini; CC-BY 4.0

Tiny Newly Discovered Frog From Brazil Given Heroic Name

The Atlantic Forest is a hotspot of biodiversity and one of the most species richness biome of anurans (frogs, tree-frogs, and toads) in the world. However, current levels of diversity might be still underestimated.

In the past few years has been an increase in the description of new endemic species of this biome along with the advance of molecular techniques and availability of samples for DNA analysis.

Using a more extensive number of samples for molecular and morphological analysis, researchers from the University of Richmond and The George Washington University described a tiny new species of narrow-mouthed frog from the Microhylidae family in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Chiasmocleis quilombola occurs in the Atlantic Forest of the Espírito Santo State, southeastern Brazil. Despite its modest size, adults reach only about 14 mm, the new species bears a heroic name inspired by the quilombos communities typical of the Espírito Santo State in Brazil, where the frogs were collected…

(read more: Science Daily)

Credit: João F. R. Tonini; CC-BY 4.0

CURRENT WORK IN HERPETOLOGY:
How amphibians crossed continents: DNA helps piece together 300-million-year journey
Source: George Washington University
A professor at GWU has succeeded in constructing a first-of-its-kind comprehensive diagram of the geographic distribution of amphibians, showing the movement of 3,309 species between 12 global ecoregions. Armed with DNA sequence data, he sought to accurately piece together the 300-million-year storyline of their journey…
(read more: Science Daily)
photo: Pseudophilautus poppiae, a microendemic shrub frog from Southern Sri Lanka that only occurs in a few hectares of cloud forest. (Credit: Alex Pyron)

CURRENT WORK IN HERPETOLOGY:

How amphibians crossed continents: DNA helps piece together 300-million-year journey

Source: George Washington University

A professor at GWU has succeeded in constructing a first-of-its-kind comprehensive diagram of the geographic distribution of amphibians, showing the movement of 3,309 species between 12 global ecoregions. Armed with DNA sequence data, he sought to accurately piece together the 300-million-year storyline of their journey…

(read more: Science Daily)

photo: Pseudophilautus poppiae, a microendemic shrub frog from Southern Sri Lanka that only occurs in a few hectares of cloud forest. (Credit: Alex Pyron)

libutron

libutron:

The voracious Labyrinth Frog - Leptodactylus labyrinthicus

Leptodactylus labyrinthicus (Leptodactylidae) is a large frog from the L. pentadactylus group (sensu Heyer, 1979; 2005). The species is widely distributed in open areas, forest enclaves and semi-deciduous forests of eastern South America. It occurs in central and southeastern Brazil, Bolivia, northern Argentina and eastern Paraguay.

It is a voracious generalist frog whose diet includes other amphibians, amphisbaenians, lizards, snakes and a small rodent species of the Family Muridae. It seems that probably swallows every moving prey within its range.

Other common names: South American Pepper Frog, Pepper Frog, Pepper Foam Frog, Rana Pimienta, Sapo-toro Laberíntico.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Pedro H. Martins | Locality: Ibiá, Minas Gerais, Brazil (2011) | [Top] - [Bottom]

libutron
libutron:

The rare Latiffs Torrent-Dwelling Toad - Ansonia latiffi
Described in 2008, the Latiffs Torrent-Dwelling Toad, Ansonia latiffi (Bufonidae), is known to occur in Sungai Lembing, Gunug Benom, Ulu Tahan and Gunung Lawit, central and east Peninsular Malaysia.
Females are larger than males (females reaching 51 mm SVL, and males reaching 39.3 mm). The fingers are long, slender, lack webbing, and with tips rounded. The dorsal surface is granulous, nearly uniform brownish-red, with orangish-yellow spots on arms and legs.
Ansonia latiffi inhabits hilly, closed canopy forests, and is considered to be a rare species.
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©M.A. Muin | Locality: Terengganu, Malaysia (2011)

libutron:

The rare Latiffs Torrent-Dwelling Toad - Ansonia latiffi

Described in 2008, the Latiffs Torrent-Dwelling Toad, Ansonia latiffi (Bufonidae), is known to occur in Sungai Lembing, Gunug Benom, Ulu Tahan and Gunung Lawit, central and east Peninsular Malaysia.

Females are larger than males (females reaching 51 mm SVL, and males reaching 39.3 mm). The fingers are long, slender, lack webbing, and with tips rounded. The dorsal surface is granulous, nearly uniform brownish-red, with orangish-yellow spots on arms and legs.

Ansonia latiffi inhabits hilly, closed canopy forests, and is considered to be a rare species.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©M.A. Muin | Locality: Terengganu, Malaysia (2011)

Wood Frogs and Other Animals That Can Take Extreme Temperature

by Gloria Dickie

It’s the ultimate deep freeze: Wood frogs in Alaska have set a record for cold endurance, staying as frozen as your microwave dinner for nearly seven months, a new study says.

Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks discovered that the amphibians survived all those months being chilled to an average temperature of 6°F (-14.6°C), including temperatures as low as 0°F (-18°C).

“No other vertebrate has ever shown this duration of freeze tolerance,” said biologist Don Larson, lead author on a study published recently in the Journal of Experimental Biology

(read more: National Geographic)

photos: Carl Battreall, Bill Beatty, and Steve Gschmeissner

Removing Just a Few Trees Can Lower Tropical Animal Biodiversity
Selective logging can halve the number of species of mammals and amphibians in a forest
by Sarah Zielinski

It’s easy to understand how the clear-cutting of vast tracts of tropical forest might be bad. After all, the loss of all those trees is bound to also take out many of the animals that made that forest their home. So selective logging—in which just at most 20 trees are removed from a single hectare of land (10,000 square meters, about the size of two football fields)—would seem to be a no-brainer improvement.
But a new study published today in Current Biology is adding to evidence that this type of timber removal can still be destructive. Zuzana Burivalova of ETH Zurich and colleagues found that taking out just three or four trees in a hectare of tropical forest can halve the number of mammal species present. Logging six or seven trees can do the same to amphibians…
(read more: Smithsonian Magazine)
photo:This toad, Dendrophryniscus sp., lives in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. (© TIAGO QUEIROZ/dpa/Corbis)

Removing Just a Few Trees Can Lower Tropical Animal Biodiversity

Selective logging can halve the number of species of mammals and amphibians in a forest

by Sarah Zielinski

It’s easy to understand how the clear-cutting of vast tracts of tropical forest might be bad. After all, the loss of all those trees is bound to also take out many of the animals that made that forest their home. So selective logging—in which just at most 20 trees are removed from a single hectare of land (10,000 square meters, about the size of two football fields)—would seem to be a no-brainer improvement.

But a new study published today in Current Biology is adding to evidence that this type of timber removal can still be destructive. Zuzana Burivalova of ETH Zurich and colleagues found that taking out just three or four trees in a hectare of tropical forest can halve the number of mammal species present. Logging six or seven trees can do the same to amphibians…

(read more: Smithsonian Magazine)

photo:This toad, Dendrophryniscus sp., lives in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. (© TIAGO QUEIROZ/dpa/Corbis)

Explainer: What are endocrine disruptors?
Some chemicals can mimic hormones, and in doing so wrongly turn on or off important bodily processes
by Janet Raloff
Hormones are like the managers of the body’s organs and other tissues. These chemicals order cells — from your head to your toes — to switch on or off some particular activity. The brain usually coordinates the release of hormones, sending these managers to a particular job site when it’s time for work to begin. But sometimes industrial chemicals and pollutants can mimic these managers. When such imposters enter the body, they can alter when or how an organism develops, what it looks like — even whether it gets some disease.
Toxicologists — the scientists who study the action of poisons — have begun referring to these hormone mimics as endocrine disruptors. That’s because the endocrine system releases hormones. And these chemicals fake out the normal players in this system…
(read more: ScienceNews for Students)
*********************
photo: Scientists raised this species of frog in water tainted with what the U.S. government considers acceptable levels of the weed killer atrazine. Males sometimes underwent a dramatic change — into apparent females. The pollutant had acted on them like a hormone. (by Furryscaly/Flickr)

Explainer: What are endocrine disruptors?

Some chemicals can mimic hormones, and in doing so wrongly turn on or off important bodily processes

by Janet Raloff

Hormones are like the managers of the body’s organs and other tissues. These chemicals order cells — from your head to your toes — to switch on or off some particular activity. The brain usually coordinates the release of hormones, sending these managers to a particular job site when it’s time for work to begin. But sometimes industrial chemicals and pollutants can mimic these managers. When such imposters enter the body, they can alter when or how an organism develops, what it looks like — even whether it gets some disease.

Toxicologists — the scientists who study the action of poisons — have begun referring to these hormone mimics as endocrine disruptors. That’s because the endocrine system releases hormones. And these chemicals fake out the normal players in this system…

(read more: ScienceNews for Students)

*********************

photo: Scientists raised this species of frog in water tainted with what the U.S. government considers acceptable levels of the weed killer atrazine. Males sometimes underwent a dramatic change — into apparent females. The pollutant had acted on them like a hormone. (by Furryscaly/Flickr)