New poison dart frog discovered

2014-09-29 12:09
The hololotype specimen, which scientists used as the basis to describe a new species of poison dart frog: Andinobates geminisae. (Cesar Jaramillo, STRI)

The hololotype specimen, which scientists used as the basis to describe a new species of poison dart frog: Andinobates geminisae. (Cesar Jaramillo, STRI)

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Cape Town – Scientists have discovered a new poison dart frog species in Panama.

The bright orange frog with a unique call was discovered in Donoso, Panama and described by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

The species description published in Zootaxa notes that the frog - Adinobates geminisae - was named after Geminis Vargas, “the beloved wife of [co-author] Marcos Ponce, for her unconditional support of his studies of Panamanian herpetology”.

According to Smithsonian herpetologist, Cesar Jaramillo, Ponce was one of the first to note the presence of the species.

“They’ve known it was there for several years. However, they were not sure if it was only a variety of another poison dart frog species, Oophaga pumilio, which exhibits tremendous colour variation,” Jaramillo said.

Geminisae appears to be found in only a very small area so habitat loss and collecting for the pet trade are major threats to its existence.

Read more on:    panama  |  animals  |  research

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