Two new clown tree frogs discovered in the Amazon

first_imgClown frogs are widespread throughout the Amazon region and get their name from their unique, bright coloration.The two newly discovered clown frogs were previously considered to belong to other species, but researchers were able to show that they are their own distinct species after analyzing their DNA and the calls they make.According to the international team of researchers who made the discovery, the conservation status of both clown frogs has yet to be determined — but it is likely that the species could already be considered threatened, especially given that both are reported to have particularly small distribution areas that are endangered by habitat destruction. Two new species of clown tree frogs have been discovered in the Amazonian rainforests of Bolivia and Peru.Clown frogs are widespread throughout the Amazon region and get their name from their unique, bright coloration.The two newly discovered frogs were previously considered to belong to other species, but researchers were able to show that they are their own distinct species after analyzing their DNA and the calls they make. The new species were described in a paper published in the journal PLoS ONE earlier this month.According to the international team of researchers who made the discovery, the conservation status of both clown frogs has yet to be determined — but it is likely that they could already be considered threatened, given that both are reported to have particularly small distribution areas with a high risk of habitat destruction.“Amazonia is vulnerable to several increasing threats such as deforestation, mining, petroleum extraction and climate change,” Marcel Caminer of the Universidad Católica del Ecuador, the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “Therefore, it is necessary to have a complete inventory of the Amazonian species to take the appropriate measures to protect this biodiversity.”Reticulate treefrog (Dendropsophus reticulatus). Photo by Santiago R. Ron.During expeditions to six Amazonian countries, Caminer and team examined two “universal” clown tree frog species, Dendropsophus leucophyllatus and Dendropsophus triangulum. They found that D. leucophyllatus and D. triangulum do not constitute just two different species, but what’s known as a “species complex” — at least five species and possibly even as many as seven (including the two described in the PLoS ONE paper).“Our new study shows once again that we are not even close to knowing the actual species diversity of South American frogs and that even supposedly widespread species may be endangered,” Caminer said.Martin Jansen of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany, one of Caminer’s co-authors on the paper, said in a statement that the team employed “integrative taxonomy” in order to establish the new species as distinct from D. leucophyllatus and D. triangulum.“We compared morphological and genetic information as well as the frogs’ calls with each other — and through a combination of the different methods we were then able to delimit the new species and show that the two previous species actually comprise an entire species complex,” Jansen said.One of the new species was discovered on the grounds of Ecological Research Station Chiquitos in Bolivia, which is co-run by the Senckenberg Research Institute. “This beautiful frog serves as a ‘flag ship’ that underlines the importance of biological field stations and the benefits of observing a region’s nature over a period of many years, especially in the unexplored areas of mega-diversity countries,” Jansen added.The researchers argue that the results of their study suggest that the number of Neotropical frog species is still greatly underestimated, especially in the vast Amazon Basin, which has not been subjected to a comprehensive, region-wide scientific survey.“The discovery of additional new species in the D. leucophyllatus–triangulum complex is to be expected, especially in Colombia and Brazil, where further taxonomic work and molecular analysis are needed,” the researchers write in the paper. “This study, like similar others, highlights the importance of integrative approaches and international collaborations to clarify the status of taxonomically difficult species groups of the Neotropical frogs.”“Only once we truly know all species and their distribution areas, will we be able to make well-founded statements regarding the effects of such factors as climate change, for example,” Jansen said.“However, the largest threat to amphibians worldwide continues to be the destruction of their habitats. Our study shows that effective protection measures require prior knowledge of the actual diversity of species and the study of their actual spatial distribution. To achieve this, we need a larger number of experts — taxonomic research is in higher demand today than ever before.”Arndts’ treefrog (Dendropsophus arndti). Photo by Martin Jansen.Reticulate treefrog (Dendropsophus reticulatus). Photo by Gustavo Pazmiño.Triangle treefrog (Dendropsophus triangulum). Photo by Santiago R. Ron.Triangle treefrog (Dendropsophus triangulum). Photo by Diego Quirola.Triangle treefrog (Dendropsophus triangulum). Photo by Santiago R. Ron.CITATIONCaminer, M. A., Milá, B., Jansen, M., Fouquet, A., Venegas, P. J., Chávez, G., … & Ron, S. R. (2017). Systematics of the Dendropsophus leucophyllatus species complex (Anura: Hylidae): Cryptic diversity and the description of two new species. PloS one, 12(3), e0171785. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171785Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? 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In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Amazon Biodiversity, Amphibian Crisis, Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Climate Change, Deforestation, Environment, Frogs, Herps, Mining, New Species, Oil, Rainforests, Species Discovery, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more