Almost a century after it was found, researchers at the University of Manchester have finally identified a wide-eyed green and golden frog as a new species.
And Andrew Gray, curator of herpetology at Manchester Museum, named the cute little creature Sylvia’s Tree Frog, (Cruziohyla sylviae) after his 3-year-old granddaughter.
The tree frog was originally collected in Panama in 1925, but was confused with the Splendid Tree Frog (Cruziohyla calcarifer).
It took the last 20 years of research to finally identify it properly.
“It’s remarkable that such a distinctive new species has remained undetected for such a long time,” Gray said in a statement. “However, more importantly, this work highlights that an assessment of the conservation needs for each species is urgently required to ensure these amazing creatures are still around in another 100 years.”
The Splendid Tree Frog was first found in 1902 and is much more rare — fewer than 50 specimens have been collected — and could soon face extinction, according to experts.
Meanwhile, fewer than 150 specimens of Sylvia’s Tree Frog have ever been recorded.
Exciting news! One of the world’s most spectacular frogs has been identified as a new species by Andrew Gray our Curator of Herpetology. He has named the creature Sylvia’s Tree Frog, Cruziohyla sylviae, after his 3-year-old granddaughter. Find out more: https://t.co/zmOWpCyG1z pic.twitter.com/g5EG2fJznM
— Manchester Museum (@McrMuseum) July 30, 2018
You can see how they would be confused.
Using genetic and biochemical work, the findings — and official naming of the news species — have been published in the zoological journal, Zootaxa.
The frog, and Sylvia, are indeed cute as buttons.
“It’s a real privilege to be maintaining such rare frogs in our collection and supporting amphibian conservation around the planet,” Esme Ward, director of Manchester Museum, said in a statement, adding the work could “make a real difference in shaping the future of wildlife conservation.”
It may be cute, but it isn’t easy being green.
Watch Andrew Gray our Curator of Herpetology on BBC World News talk about discovering a new species of frog. He has named the creature Sylvia’s Tree Frog after his 3 year old granddaughter @ward_esme @OfficialUoM https://t.co/cgbMh3nWhd
— Manchester Museum (@McrMuseum) August 1, 2018
Photos University of Manchester