6 new species of rain frogs discovered in Ecuador
A male frog called the “Mesquita” is pictured in this undated photo from the San Jose Nature Institute in La Union, Ecuador. The species was discovered in the Chinchipe-Santiago-Miraflores area of the Sierra de Sipaculco. (San Jose Nature Institute via AP)
Two new species of frog have been discovered in Ecuador – one, a new species of frog from the Amazon and another from the Pacific coast, the most complete yet of the world’s rain frog diversity, a new study says.
The two new frogs, both called “Mesquita” (the name for a kind of poison dart frog), were found in three villages in the Sierra de Sipaculco, part of the Andes range that runs through Ecuador and Peru. The area is part of the dry tropical wetness corridor, where the Andes meet the Amazon.
The discovery was made by a team of researchers led by Dr. Ramiro Rodríguez, an expert in tropical frog biodiversity, who is director of the Costa Rican Institute of Ecology and Bio-Biodiversity (CIBA).
The other frog species, also from Ecuador and in the “tribe” of the Mesquites, was discovered in a nearby forest by a team of researchers led by Dr. Mónica García-Santos, a research professor at the Universidad Tecnológica Andina, which is located in Quito.
Researchers say the discovery of two new frog species expands what’s known about the diversity of frogs found in Ecuador.
“Most studies have been on only one or two tribes of frogs, but we have a very deep phylogeny for frogs in the world,” Mr. Rodriguez told NBC News. “The idea is to understand how the frogs evolved to their various morphologies, and now we have something of a global panorama.”
“We have to consider that about 98 percent of the world’s frogs live in tropical rain forests, and that