Your monthly round up of reptile and amphibian news from around the world, spotted by Froglife’s Conservation Communication Officer Lucy Benyon.
Is it a bird?... No, it’s a frog.
Northern Vietnam has shown to be home to a small species of
frog that sounds more like a bird than an amphibian. The newly discovered
Quang’s tree frog uses clicks, whistles and chirrups in uniquely random
combinations. Further research in
Vietnam has uncovered over 200 new species, including a psychedelic gecko - the
lizard has bright orange legs, a yellow neck and a blue body with yellow bars
on its bright orange sides; it was discovered on an island in southern Vietnam.
Source: Mongaby and The Telegraph
Is it a beetle?... No, it’s a frog
At only 8-9mm long Paedophryne dekot and Paedophryne verrucosa
are the smallest frogs in the world. These tiny amphibians live amongst leaf
litter in New Guinea, where miniaturised frogs are fairly common. The females
of these species are so small they’re only able to carry two eggs.
Source: Science Daily
Glimmer of hope for world’s most threatened tortoise
The ploughshare tortoise, or angonoka, is native to the
island of Madagascar but burning of its habitat and capture for the pet trade
left the wild population plummeting. For the last 25 years the Durrell Wildlife
Conservation Trust has been working to stop the species disappearing forever
and this month has been celebrating after releasing 20 captive-bred tortoises
into the wild. In 1998 the tortoise’s natural habitat was declared a National
Park, the first in Madagascar created to save a single species, and it’s hoped
these amazing reptiles have now taken another step away from the brink of
Source: Wildlife Extra
Location of new horned viper kept a secret
Scientists have discovered a uniquely coloured horned viper
in the forests of Tanzania but are keeping quiet about its location. New species,
like Matilda’s horned viper, are under threat from the pet trade so the further
details about its habitat are being kept under wraps. Several individuals have
been collected by researchers to initiate a captive breeding programme.
American ‘toads on roads’ group premiere their documentary
A ‘Toads on Roads’ group in Philadelphia have just screened
the premiere of their documentary ‘The Toad Detour’. Every year thousands of
America toads were being killed near Roxborough until the group leapt into
action. The 40 minute film features footage of the toads migrating and
interviews with some of the Patrollers.
Amphibian skin in the spotlight
Odorous frogs – so-called because of the pungent smell of
rotting fish they give off – could hold the key to dealing with
antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Researchers found that the frogs secrete
numerous chemicals to deal with the multitude of bacteria that share their
warm, wet habitats and they could prove crucial in the fight against antibiotic
resistance. Research has also been underway to investigate the decline in
hellbender giant salamanders – scientists have been looking at micro-organisms
on the skin that might explain why the salamanders are failing to regenerate
tissue after injury.
and The Sticky Tongue Project