New Long-legged Diamond Frog Species Discovered in Madagascar

Posted on July 16, 2015

Rhombophryne longicrus

Scientists have identified a new species of long-legged diamond frog species in Madagascar. It is small and brown like other diamond frogs. What makes it unique are its long slender legs.

Most diamond frog species have are burrowers but the new species is unable to burrow its way through the ground like its relatives. In addition to lacking short legs the new species does not have as many distinct tubercules (large, hard projections) on its hands and feet as its digging relatives. However, it can make longer leaps than its relatives thanks to its unique legs. The new frog species has been given the name, Rhombophryne longicrus.

R. longicrus is most closely related to the minute diamond frog, R. minuta. The researchers say genetic analysis found that two frog species are closely related. The morphology of the frogs is also similar apart from the size difference.

The researchers say the new species could be at great risk to extinction because it may be a microendemic creature and its habitat has not been put under protection. Madagascar, an amphibian hotspot, is home to over 4% of the named frog species on Earth.

A research paper on newly discovered diamond frog was published here in the journal, Zoosystematics & Evolution.

Photo: r. Frank Glaw