AboutZoos, Since 2008


New glass­frog species dis­cov­ered in Costa Rica

pub­lished 05 May 2015 | mod­i­fied 05 May 2015

Glassfrog on branchRecently, excit­ing news about a newly dis­cov­ered and described species of glass­frog has been pub­lished. This lime-​green see-​through frog is the liv­ing looka­like of Ker­mit the frog, the lead mup­pet in the late Jim Henson’s muppetshow.

The frog was dis­cov­ered from the Caribbean slopes of Costa Rica and named Diane’s bare-​hearted glass­frog (Hyali­no­ba­tra­chium dianae) in hon­our of the lead author’s mother Janet Diane Kubicki. The last time a new glass­frog was described from Costa Rica was in 1973.

The authors (Brian Kubicki, Stan­ley Salazar, and Robert Puschen­dorf) dis­tin­guished H. dianae from other glass­frogs due to its unique com­bi­na­tion of mor­pho­log­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics, adver­tise­ment call, and genetic dis­tinc­tion. This new species was described from six spec­i­mens col­lected at three dif­fer­ent sites along the Caribbean slopes of Costa Rica between 400 to 900 meters above sea level. Includ­ing H. dianae, Costa Rica now has 14 glass­frogs inhab­it­ing its tiny national ter­ri­tory! The find­ings are pub­lished on 19 Feb­ru­ary in the jour­nal ZOOTAXA.

The glass frog’s name orig­i­nates from its translu­cent, organ-​revealing bel­lies — though the lack of pig­men­ta­tion is still a mys­tery to sci­en­tists. Their green cam­ou­flage coloura­tion, how­ever, is obvi­ously to help the noc­tur­nal frogs go unno­ticed on the under­sides of leaves dur­ing the day.

Glassfrog bellyTranslu­cent under­side of the Diane’s bare-​hearted glass­frog (Credit: Costa Rican Amphib­ian Research Cen­ter)

(Source: Costa Rican Amphib­ian Research Cen­ter news, 17.04.2015)

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