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Two New Frog Species Discovered in Panama

Two New Frog Species Discovered in Panama

Ordinarily the discovery of two new frogs species would be only cause for jubilation, and it is, but there’s a catch and it’s a big one. At Omar Torrijos National Park, researchers noticed a frog they suspected might be a new species but it resembled other frogs in the area. It has round finger and toe disks which set it apart from other similar species. Recently the frog was determined to be a new species and has been named Pristimantis educatoris (pictured above). It is only .8 to 1.6 inches long.

The second frog was discovered in a trip to Darien Province, which is near the border of Colombia. This one was named Pristimantis adnus, because ADN is the acronym for DNA in Spanish and the frog was identified as a unique species using DNA analysis.

So what’s the catch? It is called chytridiomycosis, or chytrid fungus. It kills frogs by clogging the skin. So far chytrid fungus has killed many frogs worldwide: “Bd is a very important chytrid fungus because it appears to be capable of infecting most of the world’s approximately 6,000 amphibian species and many of those species develop the disease chytridiomycosis which is linked to devastating population declines and species extinctions.”

The two newly discovered frogs are both threatened by the destructive fungus. The fungus is in Panama’s forests and has been sickening and killing many frogs there, and Panama is a biologically diverse and rich country. The Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project actually manages frog populations in captive breeding programs away from the infected forests, so the species can survive in uncontaminated spaces.

The total number of frogs in Panama and Costa Rica documented by scientists is now 197. There could be many undiscovered species in the areas where these latest two were found.

Related:
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Image Credit: Andrew Crawford, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Read more: Nature, Nature & Wildlife,

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3:25PM PDT on Mar 14, 2013

YEAH! new species

7:52AM PST on Mar 2, 2013

Great!!! Man keep your slimey Paws off these little critters...thanks

9:50PM PST on Feb 16, 2013

Hope they can survive.

5:00PM PST on Feb 14, 2013

thanks

4:59PM PST on Feb 14, 2013

thanks

2:30PM PST on Nov 11, 2012

Good news.

2:29PM PST on Nov 11, 2012

Good news.

7:11AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Thanks for the info.!!

5:27PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

thanks

4:13PM PDT on May 1, 2012

Thankyou....

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BS! I agree totally with Chris C.

How could one not love bats - look at that beautiful face!

Some like it HOT but in this context I like cool. Good ideas!

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