Two new frog species discovered in Panama

May 28th, 2010 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Panama City, May 28 (DPA) Scientists have discovered two new frog species in Panama’s rainforests at a time when many of the amphibians are threatened by a fungal disease driving them toward extinction.
Pristimantis educatoris was discovered in the Omar Torrijos nature reserve in Cocle province, scientists from the US Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute said Thursday.

The frog is two to four centimeters long, varies from dark purple to dark grey in its colouring, and has red or yellow eyes. Its fingers and toes also end in bulbous disks.

The second species, Pristimantis adnus, was found in the rainforests of Darien province near the border with Colombia. It has rough, green-and-brown striped skin on its back, which is scattered with enlarged granules, and the males of the species are about two centimeters long.

The discoveries have pushed the number of known frog species in Panama and Costa Rica to 195, the institute said.

The scientists said they hope to be able to find and identify frogs before the fungal disease, called chytridiomcyosis, reaches them to help protect the endangered species.

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