New species of "glass frogs" discovered in Peru

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.


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:

More like this

So here we are, back with the anurans. In the previous article on neobatrachians (here), we looked at the basic division of the neobatrachians into the mostly New World Hyloidea, and the mostly Old World Ranoidea. While the characters historically used to differentiate hyloids (an arciferal…
Last year was Year of the Frog (nothing to do with the Chinese calendar, but instead a global effort to raise awareness about the plight of the world's declining amphibian species). I hope that you've not forgotten that the global effort to slow amphibian extinction continues unabated. For various…
tags: evolution, evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology, animal behavior, molecular ecology, parental care, mating systems, monogamy, sexual selection, frogs, poison dart frogs, Dendrobatidae, Ranitomeya,,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper, journal club Peruvian…
South America has a diverse and well-studied toad fauna. The continent's toads include some decidedly untoad-like taxa, such as the brightly coloured stubfoot toads or harlequin frogs. These remarkable little animals are superficially similar to the better known poison-dart frogs. What makes South…

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!

By Rajat Garg (not verified) on 31 Aug 2014 #permalink

As a lover of nature it is really amazing to hear that in the century we live in with all the global warming, animal poaching and pollution with hundreds of species becoming extinct each year that there are still new species developing and being discovered making our ecosystems grow.
It truly blows my mind how adaptive species are to their environment and that species are still evolving in our modern lives.

By A Potgieter 15004512 (not verified) on 09 Apr 2015 #permalink