New Rain Frog Discovered in Peru's Manu National Park

Posted on June 2, 2016

Pristimantis pluvialis dorsolateral view

A new species of rain frog has been discovered in the Amazonian Peru and the Amazonian foothills of the Andes. The rain frog has been named Pristimantis pluvialis. Several individuals of the species were discovered.

Researchers from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, the University of Michigan, and the National University of San Antonio Abad of Cusco in Peru discovered the frogs. The frogs exhibit direct development meaning they do not go through the tadpole stage. They belong to the genus Pristimantis.

The frog can be distinguished from other members of its genus by call, skin texture, and the presence of a rostral papilla. The name "pluvialis" means "rainy" in Latin. This name was used to denote the incredibly rain-soaked habitat the frog lives in. The frog was also only found after it was heard calling following heavy rains.

Alex Shepack, a PhD student in the laboratory of co-author Dr Alessandro Catenazzi at Southern Illinois University, says in a statement, "This discovery highlights the need for increased study throughout the tropics, for example Manu NP and its surrounding areas have been well studied, but despite these efforts, new species are being continuously discovered."

A research paper on the discovery can be found here in the journal, ZooKeys.

Male Pristimantis pluvialis


Photos: Alex Shepack