NATIONAL

Frog species named after Attenborough

A new frog species, which measures just about two centimetres and was discovered in the Peruvian Andes, has been named after noted British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

While there are already a number of species, including mammals, reptiles, invertebrates and plants, both extinct and extant, named after the host of the BBC Natural History’s Life series, not until now has he been honoured with an amphibian namesake.

The frog is formally described as Pristimantis attenboroughi , while it is to be referred to as Attenborough’s rubber frog.

Living in Peru

Scientists from Illinois Wesleyan University and University of Michigan in the U.S., spent two years surveying montane forests in central Peru, in order to document the local amphibians and reptiles and evaluate their conservation statuses.

Their efforts were rewarded with the discovery of several new species of frogs and a lizard species.

Each of these discoveries, including the Attenborough’s rubber frog, prove how beneficial it is to take into account both morphological and the genetic data, while looking for species new to science.

The Attenborough’s rubber frog is known to inhabit several localities across the Pui Pui Protected Forest, a nature reserve located at elevations between 3,400 and 3,936 metres above sea level in central Peru. The adult males reach size of 14.6-19.2 millimetres in length, while the females are larger measuring between 19.2 and 23 mm. Their colour ranges from pale to dark grey or reddish brown to brownish olive with dark grey scattered flecks.

The study was published in the journal ZooKeys .

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