Scientists in India discover world’s smallest (and cutest) species of frogs

Written by on February 24, 2017 in Rare Critters - No comments

These could well be the world’s tiniest frogs.

Researchers in Indian have discovered seven new species frogs in the Western Ghats mountains. The previously unknown species of Night Frogs include some so tiny they could sit on a coin.

Scientists published their findings in the PeerJ Journal, which brings the Night Frog genus Nyctibatrachus to 35 distinct species.

“Our detailed morphological study supports the recognition of seven new Nyctibatrachus species, which can be reliably differentiated from their relatives on the basis of skin texture, dorsal folds and markings, skin colour, body shape and size, finger and toe tip morphology, and degree of webbing,” the authors wrote.

And, four of the species are considered miniature. They are under 18 millimetres – so small they can perch on a your thumbnail.

 

“In fact, the miniature species are locally abundant and fairly common but they have probably been overlooked because of their extremely small size, secretive habitats and insect-like calls,” Sonali Garg, study co-author from the University of Delhi, said in a statement.

The mountain range in Southwestern India where they were discovered is known to be a biodiversity hotspot.

But things aren’t looking so bright for these little guys.

“The future of many of the new species may be bleak,” the researchers concluded. “All the newly described species are currently known only from single localities in the southern Western Ghats, and some lie outside Protected areas.”

You can learn more about the Night Frogs here.


Photos PeerJ

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