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Surprise! New Species! I present The Chocolate Frog!

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Surprise! New Species! I present The Chocolate Frog!


Post by Tiredretiredlawyer »

https://www.theguardian.com/Australia-n ... nea-swamps
Australian scientist discovers ‘chocolate frog’ in New Guinea swamps
Litoria mira has been declared a new species, despite looking very similar to the Australian green tree frog

Steve Richards, a frog specialist at the South Australian Museum, first found the spotted the cocoa-coloured creature in 2016 in incredibly challenging habitat.

“That could be why it took so long to find this frog,” he said. “It’s swampy, it’s spiky, there are lots of malaria-carrying mozzies, it floods, there are crocodiles and not many roads. It’s a really unpleasant place to work.”

Despite disturbing an overhanging nest of giant hornets and having “to run flat out” trying to escape them, Richards managed to bag some specimens and after years of painstaking research and genetic analysis he and his colleagues can say for certain that Litoria mira is a new species.

To the untrained eye, Litoria mira looks almost identical to the Australian green tree frog – except for its glossy brown skin. It is the closest relative of the Australian green tree frog.

But genetic analysis shows the Litoria mira has evolved to become genetically distinct to the point where the two species would not be able to breed.

"I am here by divine special appearance." -Pauline Bauer
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