A new species of poison dart frog has been discovered by the scientists in the Donoso district of Panama.
According to the scientists, the new species is an orange-colored frog which is as ting as a fingernail, measuring only half an inch.
The researchers at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí in Panama, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia have identified the unique variety of the frog.
The new frog species, which falls under a group called “A. minutus,” has been named ‘Andinobates geminisae’.
The researchers said that the new frog variety can be distinguished by its orange-colored skin and the unique call that it makes to interact with its partners.
The researchers sequenced the DNA of the frog specimen and concluded that this was a new species of Andinobates.
In a statement, Smithsonian herpetologist Cesar Jaramillo said, “We have known it was there for several years. However, we were not sure if it was only a variety of another poison dart frog species, Oophaga pumilio, which exhibits tremendous color variation. Based on morphological characteristics of the adult and the tadpole, I thought it might be a new species of Andinobates.”
The sample for this species was collected in Rio Caño area in the district of Donoso, Colón Province, Panama in the month of February, 2011.
Study co-author Andrew Crawford, a professor of evolutionary genetics and biostatistics at the Colombian university, said, “The new species superficially looks much more like the strawberry poison dart frog (Oophaga pumilio). Perhaps A. geminisae had been observed previously but was confused with Oophaga.”
The researchers have detailed the study’s findings in the journal Zootaxa.