New Yellow Water Frog Species Discovered in Peru

Posted on February 4, 2015

Telmatobius ventriflavum

Scientists have discovered a new species of water frog in the coastal valleys of central Peru. The frog belongs to the Telmatobiinae subfamily of frogs which are endemic to the Andes. The species was discovered at an elevation of 3,900 meters.

The frog has been named Telmatobius ventriflavum. The ventriflavum portion of the name comes from Latin, meaning "ventri" for belly and "flavus" for the frog's orange and golden yellow belly. The frog is pictured above on a rock in its natural habitat. An image of its habitat is pictured below.

The frog-killing fungal disease chytridiomycosis has been spreading in the Andes and the populations of several species of Telmatobius have been on the decline. The scientists did detect the fungus on the new frog species but they don't yet know what impact it is having on it.

Dr. Alessandro Catenazzi of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, the lead author of the study, says in a statement, "The discovery of a new species in such arid and easily accessible environments shows that much remains to be done to document amphibian diversity in the Andes."

A research paper on the new water frog can be found here in the journal ZooKeys. The researchers say in the paper that the frog resembles T. intermedius but is larger and has a flatter head.

Habitat of Telmatobius ventriflavum in the Andes


Photos: A. Catenazzi