Newly discovered frog

Newly discovered frog in Papua New Guinea (PNG) – Platymantis sp. nov. Among the 20 new frogs discovered during Conservation International’s two PNG Rapid Assessment Program surveys is a striking, yellow-spotted species of the genus Platymantis. This attractive frog was found only at the highest elevations surveyed in the Nakanai Mountains in April 2009. Males called from small bushes in Bamboo thickets so dense that it took many hours to cut a path just a few meters off the main trail in order to track down their soft calls. This new species belongs to a group of frogs that lay their eggs on land or in the trees where they hatch directly into little froglets, and they have no tadpole stage. This breeding strategy is of immense benefit to frogs in places like the Nakanai Mountains where, despite the high rainfall, surface-water is very scarce because it drains quickly underground to join streams and rivers that flow through underground caves.

© CI/photo by Stephen Richards

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