A new species of rain frog has been discovered in the Amazon forests of Peru. The scientific name created for it will be Pristimantis pluvialis. The frog was found by a group of research biologists that came from a number of different universities located in Carbondale, Michigan and Peru.
Individuals within the new P. pluvialis species were found whilst nocturnal observations were being conducted by the biologists at Manu National Park. The park and its nearby regions are famous for their highly diverse reptiles and amphibians, with 156 species discovered so far.
The genus Pristimantis is vast and contains mostly large frogs. The pluvialis species is unique to its cousins due to the texture of its skin and existence of a rostral papilla. Pluvialis means “rainy” in latin, to denote it as being a hardy rain frog that was only found by the researchers during heavy showers.
Quite concerning however is that this newly discovered species may be short lived if the fears of the researchers of its diminishing numbers are true. An exotic fungal disease called “chytrid fungus” recently struck the amphibians in the region, and has caused frog species to rapidly decline. Of the ten pluvialis rain frogs that were discovered, four of them were found to be infected with the fungus. Nevertheless, the impact of this disease on these frogs is unknown. It may be the case that this particular frog species is more resistant to the fungus than other species – especially considering the species wasn’t discovered before the fungal infection became widespread.
According to Dr Alessandro Catenazzi and Alex Shpack, co-authors of the study, the finding of this new species indicates that there may be more unknown species lying within the tropics, and they call for more studies to be conducted within the surrounding areas.
Source: Science Daily