May 23, 2012
New Species Of Frog Found In Panama Dyes Fingers Yellow
A new bright yellow frog species has been found in the mountains of western Panama. The frog belongs to a species-rich group of frogs, the so called rainfrogs that lack a tadpole stage, but develop directly as little frogs inside the egg.
The frog, that measures less than 2 cm, was discovered by Andreas Hertz and his colleagues, who are reptile and amphibian specialists at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt am Main; Germany. They discovered it in 2010 during several field trips to the SerranÃa de TabasarÃ¡ of western Panama a highly understudied part of the Panamanian central mountain range.
To assure the validity of the frog as a new species, the biologists studied body structure, coloration, molecular genetic data, and vocalizations of a series of individuals, and compared the results with the data derived from closely related species.
Additionally, the researchers took into consideration the possibility that the yellow stain may be poisonous and performed an analysis of skin secretions. "We cannot say whether the dye is any good as a predatory defense, as we could not find any poisonous components. Maybe the color is just easily washed out and has no particular function. However, for now, this peculiarity of the new species remains enigmatic." said Hertz.
The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.
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