In a press release on January 14, 2010 it was announced that an expedition to the coastal rainforests of western Ecuador has discovered 30 new species of frog and a slug-sucking snake. Huge news. The team of scientists, who work for Reptile and Amphibian Ecology International, also identified four new species of stick insect, three species of lungless salamanders, a tiny, scaly-eyed gecko known as Lepidoblepharis buschwaldii and a bushmaster – the longest viper in the world.
Most of the new animals were discovered in the forests of Cerro Pata de Pájaro, a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Its cloud forests are particularly fecund: 14 of the 30 new species of frog discovered were found in a patch of cloud forest just a couple of miles wide. The newly-discovered frogs are “rain” frogs of the genus Pristimantis, which lay their eggs in trees. As the eggs hatch, miniature versions of the adult frogs – some the size of a pinhead – fall into the water below. One of the frogs is a so-called glass frog that has a transparent chest.
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Gallery and Species Details