6 new species of rain frogs discovered in Ecuador
A new species of frog has been discovered in Ecuador, adding to the country’s increasingly impressive list of animal and plant species.
The new species, named Caudilla caucana, was found in the rainforests of the Sierra Madre Oriental. It closely resembles the species Caudilla yalasana, which was discovered some 18 years ago in the same region. C. caucana and C. yalasana were both described and named in the same journal paper in 2003.
The discovery was a happy outcome for researchers from the US National Museum of Natural History, who had been searching for this frog for a long time.
In addition to this new frog, another two species of frog have been recently discovered in this same region.
These new species, Caudilla alba and Caudilla efremovi, were revealed in 2011, when the Ecuadorian government launched a massive biological survey in the rainforests of the Sierra Madre.
The two species are both closely related to the same type cestode worm, found in the body of the animals and which is associated with the parasite causing river blindness. River blindness is a disease whose victims experience a total or partial loss of sight by the end of their life.
This is only the second discovery of a new frog species in the Sierra Madre. Earlier this year, the same rainforest area was also the site of the discovery of another frog species, which the researchers named Fusobrutes pamirai.
These two new species, C. caucana and F. pamirai, will need to be brought back to Ecuador for formal scientific description in order to achieve the “validity level” required for the species classification of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.
For this, the new species’ natural history needs to be formally described.
The two new species, C. caucana and C. yalasana, as well as the previously described species, are now available for public viewing online. You can find them in the online gallery of