FunNature & AnimalNew species of diamond frog found in Madagascar

New species of diamond frog found in Madagascar

German herpetologist Mark Scherz has discovered a new species of diamond frog that lives in northern Madagascar. Currently more than 20 species of this genus are recognized, all endemic to Madagascar.

Called Rhombophryne ellae , the new species has only been seen in the Montagne d’Ambre National Park.

“As soon as I saw this frog, I knew it was a new species,” said Scherz, from the Technical University of Braunschweig and the University of Konstanz . “The orange markings on the legs and the large black spots on the hips made it immediately apparent to me.”

“It is rare that we find a frog and can immediately recognize that it is a new species without having to wait for the results of the DNA sequence to return,” the expert clarifies.

With an orange coloration on its legs, this frog joins the growing list of frogs that possess flashing marks from red to orange.

What is the function of these flashes?

Scientists are unaware of it, despite having repeatedly evolved into frogs, including the narrow-mouthed frogs of Madagascar.

“The discovery of such a distinctive species within a comparatively well-studied park points to gaps in our knowledge of amphibians in the tropics,” Scherz says. “It also highlights the role that bad weather, especially cyclones, can play in bringing hidden frogs out of hiding: Rhombophryne ellae was captured just as Cyclone Ava was moving to Madagascar.”

Referencia: Mark D. Scherz, Diamond frogs forever: a new species of Rhombophryne Boettger, 1880 (Microhylidae, Cophylinae) from Montagne d’Ambre National Park, northern Madagascar, Zoosystematics and Evolution (2020). DOI: 10.3897/zse.96.51372

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