Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A New Species of Glass Frog - Bearing a Striking Resemblance fo Kermit - was Discovered in Costa Rica!

Well, I'm a bit late to the party on this one, but I have succumbed to the excitement of the newly discovered glass frog! I imagine most people have by now seen this little guy, since his resemblance to another beloved frog has been making the internet rounds.

This little guy, belonging to the genus Hyalinobatrachium, was named after the senior author's mother. He can be distinguished from other members of the genus because of his short snout, a granular texture on the skin of his back, a transparent parietal and cardial peritoneum, a very distinct hand/foot webbing, no spots on his bright green skin, his kermit-like eyes (but that's not how the authors describe it), a very distinct call that consists of a single tonal long metallic whistle for a duration of 0.5 seconds, on average, and a 12.4% divergence in the DNA sequence of the mitochondrial gene COI compared to its closest relative Hyalinobatracium chirripoi. He's also really little - he measures only one inch long!

Glass frogs are known for their translucent skin, through which we can see their internal organs, including heart, liver, and gastrointestinal tract. They are predominantly found in Central and South America (Hyalinobatracium dianae was discovered in Costa Rica). Glass frogs differ from tree frogs because their eyes face forward instead of to the side, and they are also known to eat their young.

There's no word about whether or not this little guy is poisonous. That would have been my first guess, given his lime green skin - often in nature, bright colors are a taunt to potential predators, basically telling them that their meal is easy to find, but will probably kill them. However, given that glass frog species are known to live in trees in the rain forest, their coloration seems to be camouflage instead of warning.

No comments:

Post a Comment