Researchers in Peru have discovered four new species of tiny so-called “glass frogs” (family: Centrolenidae).

Centrolene charapita: with the yellow splotches on its back, this species was aptly named after little yellow chili peppers. Their hindlegs also had fleshy little zigzag-like protuberances whose purpose is unknown.

Centrolene_charapita

Figure 4 from Twomey et al. Zootaxa, 2014.

Cochranella guayasamini: This species is mostly green with yellow encircling its eyes. Interestingly, the tadpoles begin as a reddish pink color. Since they live in streambeds that are low in oxygen, this coloration may reflect the numerous blood vessels in their skin, although that remains just a hypothesis as studies of glass frog tadpoles are rare.

Cochranella_guayasamini

Figure 19 and 21 from Twomey et al., Zootaxa. 2014

Chimerella corleone: Yes, it is indeed named after the famed character from The Godfather. This tiny frog is only 2cm long and has green bones, which they suspect may arise from build-up of the green pigment in bile, biliverdin.

A photo of the ventral side of a transparent frog, Chimerella corleoneChimerella corleone photograph by Evan Twomey

Hyalinobatrachium anachoretus: This new species was discovered in the cloud forest of Peru at 2,050 meters (6,725 feet), which is reportedly an unusually high altitude for other frogs in this genus.

A photo of a new species of transparent frog, Hyalinobatrachium anachoretus
Photograph of Hyalinobatrachium anachoretus by Evan Tworney

What is currently unknown is why these species evolved transparent bodies.

Sources:

National Geographic

Twomey E, Delia J, Castroviejo-Fisher S. A review of Northern Peruvian glassfrogs (Centrolenidae), with the description of four new remarkable species. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3851.1.1

http://novataxa.blogspot.com/2014/08/centrolenidae-glassfrogs-of-peru.html

Comments

  1. #1 Rajat Garg
    http://www.shimply.com
    September 1, 2014

    Amazing discovery
    Yet another proof of how adaptive organisms become over millions of years…
    Hard to believe sometimes but absolutely true to me.
    There is a common theme of utilizing the animals natural proteins to enhance its camouflage, in this case the green bones!

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