New Frog Species Discovered in Southeastern Brazil

Posted on July 28, 2014

Chiasmocleis quilombola frog

Scientists have discovered a new species of frog in the Atlantic Forest of the Espirito Santo State in southeastern Brazil. It is a small narrow-mouth frog belonging to the Microhylidae family. Scientists from from the University of Richmond and George Washington University discovered the frogs by setting pitfall traps in the forest after heavy rains.

The new brownish-tan frog species has been given the name Chiasmocleis quilombola. The name "quilombolas" comes from slaves who escaped into the Atlantic Forest from in Brazil and formed communities deep within the forest. A male Chiasmocleis quilombola is pictured above. The tiny frogs only reach about 14 mm (about half an inch) in length as adults.

Joao Tonini, a Ph. D. student at George Washington University, says in the announcement, "We were puzzling by the morphological variation of those frogs, which is little, but after the first results of the molecular phylogenies was clear the higher genetic disparity among them."

A research paper on the frogs is published here in the journal ZooKeys.

Photo: Joao F. R. Tonini