Hula Painted Frog, Latonia nigriventer

The Hula Painted Frog (Latonia nigriventer) is an amphibian and the only living member of the genus Latonia. It was believed to be extinct as a result of habitat destruction during the 1950s until the species was rediscovered in 2011. It is native to the Lake Hula marshes in Israel.

The draining of Lake Hula and its marshes in the 1950s was thought to have caused the extinction of this species, along with the cyprinid fish Acanthobrama hulensis and cichlid fish Tristramella intermedia. Only five individuals had been found before the draining of the lake. Environmental improvements within the Hula reserve have been cited as a possible reason for the frogs reemergence.

This frog has a dark colored belly with small white spots. It is colored ochre above with a rusty color grading into dark olive-grey to grayish black on the sides. The type specimen was an adult female with a body length of 1.6 inches.

Not much is known about its history due to very few specimens being found by scientists. Two adults and two tadpoles were collected in 1940 and a single specimens was found in 1955. This would prove to be the last record of this species until 2011.

Image Caption: Israel painted frog female specimen that was found on 15 November 2011 at Lake Hula. Credit: Mickey Samuni-Blank/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)