New Species of Stream Lizard Found in Peru's Manu National Park

Posted on February 22, 2014

Stream lizard species discovered in Peru's Manu National Park

A new species of stream lizard was found in Peru's Manu National Park, which researchers say is a biodiversity hotspot for reptiles and amphibians. A new survey conducted by biiologists from the University of California, Berkeley, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (SIU-Carbondale) and Illinois Wesleyan University found the site is home 287 species of reptiles and amphibians.

The stream lizard is a member of the gnus Potamites. The aquatic lizards forage in streams in the cloud forest from 900 to 2000 meters elevation. The scientists say their ability to operate at low temperatures in high-elevation streams is very unusual among lizards.

Another species recently discovered in Manu National Park is the amazing glass frog species, Centrolene sabini. The frog was the 7,000th known amphibian species. The glass frogs are also found at 800 to 2200 meters elevation.

Glass frog in Peru's Manu National Park

The park is also known for its huge variety of bird life. It has more than 1,000 species of birds, about 10% of the world's bird species. It is also home to over 1,200 specis of butterflies. The site was pronounced a World Heritage Site in 1987. The research team predicts that additional species will be described in the upcoming years as a result of increased use of DNA analysis, the study of frog calls and other new techniques.

Photos: Alessandro Catenazzi, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale