March 2, 2024

New species of frogs smaller than a coin have been found in the Atlantic Forest

A group of researchers made a surprising discovery in Rio de Janeiro. Among the huge variety Atlantic Forest In Nova Friburgo, municipality of Rio de Janeiro, conservationists have found a new species of frog the same size as a penny. Not surprisingly, it went unnoticed.

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Its scientific name is Brachycephalus clarissae, in honor of the foundation’s researcher, Clarissa Canedo, who specializes in Brazilian amphibians. The animal was nicknamed Clarissa Gold Drop And it was their combination of different colors that caught the researchers’ attention.

“He has a yellow belly, red spots on his body and an X-shaped mark on his back,” explained researcher Jose Pombal Jr.

Learn more about new species of frogs

Known as pingo-de-ouro, frog-flea or frog-gourd, this small amphibian has its natural habitat in the Sierra do Mar and Sierra da Mantequera Atlantic forests. Much of this species is coloured, indicating the presence of a neurotoxin in its skin that can be fatal to predators.

The first specimen of this species was found during an ecological study conducted by researchers from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). This is the 38th animal of the genus Brachycephalus.

According to researchers, this frog does not go through a larval (tadpole) stage like most other known frogs. “He was born this way, like a miniature frog. They measure up to 9.6 mm in the case of the male, but nearly 11 mm in the case of the female.” the size.”

Conservation of new species

The researcher also stressed that it has become a preoccupation for scientists to preserve it and others in the same area. “We need an idea of ​​what the species are and where they are in order to identify priority conservation areas. Losing any population of these tadpoles could mean the complete extinction of this species, which is very dangerous. Our goal specifically is to prevent this from happening.”

To conclude that this is a new species, the team studied the external morphology of the frog in question and performed molecular and skeletal analyses.