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10 Amazing New Species: SpongeBob Fungus, Glass Frog, Tarsier & More


Mache Mountain Glass Frog

Bio-rich Ecuador keeps providing new species for the world to marvel over. In 2004, this translucent tree frog that looks glass-blown, was discovered in the Mache Mountains and now joins the ranks of 146 other glass frog species. The skin of glass frogs is so transparent that bones and internal organs – including their beating heart – can be seen from their underbelly. Such transparency allows them to blend-in effortlessly with their surrounding leafy environment – and explains why it took scientists so long to find them.


King’s Deadly Jelly

It may be small, it may be hypnotically beautiful, but this new species of box jelly, Malo kingi, produces a venom that is one of the deadliest toxins in the world. Found in Australia, all it takes is a brush against this miniature jellyfish (also known as a sea wasp) for a fatal encounter. Unfortunately, the sting may actually go unnoticed as it isn’t particularly painful, but once the symptoms start to show it is usually too late -cardiac arrest typically happens within twenty minutes. The King’s Deadly Jelly received its name in honor of Robert W. King, an American tourist is Australia who died from a too-close encounter with this new jelly.

My apologies to the Australian tourist board for sharing this unnerving information, but maybe I can redeem myself  - and Australia – by also pointing out that human-box jelly encounters are rare.

Google Ant

Yes, this Madagascan ant, Proceratium google, was named after the internet search engine “Google.” Why? The discoverer of the google ant, Dr Brian Fisher, cited the importance of Google Earth software in helping connect people worldwide with the earth’s biodiversity. For example, on you can download a list of all the ant species found in a particular locale whether on a remote tropical island or in your backyard. Furthermore, this little ant is a tireless search engine, says Dr. Fisher, always looking for spider eggs, it’s favorite meal.


Google Ant Credit: Wikimedia


Roosmalen’s Hairy Dwarf Porcupine

The word porcupine comes form the French words porc espin, meaning “spined pig.” The Roosmalen’s Hairy Dwarf Porcupine (Coendou roosmalenorum) has the requisite piglet nose and the defensive spines – or quills – but it also has two other types of hair that are longer and thinner than typical quills and are barb-less. Found along the Brazilian river banks of the Rio Maderia, this little spined-pig is also unusual in that its tail length is nearly the same length of its body.

Cherise’s Teagueia Orchid

OK, I couldn’t do a list of fabulous species new to science without including the orchid that was named after me. Yes, it is true, I am the namesake for the miniature plum and yellow Teagueia cherisei orchid found only in the remote Andean cloud forests above the town of Banos, Ecuador. This is how it unfolded: Once upon a time I was an Amazon jungle guide and while living in Ecuador, I met a true 21st century renaissance man named Lou Jost. Lou was not only an extraordinary self-taught painter, naturalist and mathematician, he also was a botanist with the unusual proclivity of finding new orchid species. Every time Lou went on one of his orchid hunting expeditions, he came back with a one or more newly discovered species. When Lou reported one day over lunch that he had now discovered over 25 new species, I jokingly said, “so, when do I get an orchid named after me?!”  Little did I know, he would actually do it! ”My” orchid is the first flower (yellow and plum) on the second row in the image below.

Almost a decade later, Lou now has 60 new orchid species discoveries under his belt including the world’s smallest orchid, which is a dew-drop of a flower only 2.1 mm across and with petals so delicate, they are only one cell thick!




Read more: Environment, Feline Muse, Fun, Inspiration, Life, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Pets, Spirit, Travel, Wildlife, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.


+ add your own
9:02AM PDT on May 16, 2015

Awesome! Love the seahorse.

10:13AM PDT on Sep 21, 2013

I didn't know that so many are discovered every year. Awesome.

9:51AM PDT on Sep 18, 2013

Interesting! Thanks for sharing!

12:44AM PDT on Sep 15, 2013

Didn't know some of the species, although most of them were discovered 10 years ago.Thank you for sharing.

7:59AM PDT on Sep 13, 2013

Some cool items there. I particularly like the frog. It's eyes remind me of Hypnotoad.

5:59AM PDT on Sep 13, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

3:26PM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

FYI - There are links to all of the new species so you can see pics of all of them.

6:10AM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

And I think to myself - what a wonderful world - let's all look after it!

5:26AM PDT on Sep 12, 2013


6:49PM PDT on Sep 11, 2013


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