DICE PhD student discovers new frog species
6th September 2017
Izabela Menezes-Barata has discovered a new frog species in Brazil.
The species was discovered whilst searching for new populations of the endangered frog Crossodactylodes itambe in the Brazilian mountaintops. The search was guided by Izabela’s research which indicates potential areas for the occurrence of new populations. Four mountains were visited and frogs were found in one of these locations. However, DNA results have confirmed that what was found was not a new population of Crossodactylodes itambe, but a whole new species of Crossodactylodes.
The as-yet-unnamed species was found in a single forest at a mountaintop, isolated from other forest patches. The area is covered by the Atlantic Rainforest and bromeliads are located inside the forest, growing on the ground and also on trees. With smaller hands and red fingertips, the new frog lives in a small, patchy area at 1700 m above sea level.
Crossodactylodes are small-ranged, bromeliad-dwelling frogs that live on highlands in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. They are threatened with extinction but there is little information available to evaluate threats to the species. Researchers will now work on species description to validate the record and start a project on the ecology and population dynamics of Izabela’s new find.