Two New Species of Narrow-Mouthed Frogs Discovered in New Guinea

Posted on October 5, 2015

Cophixalus rajampatensis

Scientists have discovered two new species of narrow-mouthed frogs in western New Guinea. The frogs were discovered after scientists tracked their calls at night during heavy rains. The field research was led by Steve Richards of the South Australian Museum, Adelaide.

The frogs were found in the Raja Ampat Islands, which are located off the western tip of New Guinea. The frogs belong to the genus Cophixalus, which is found mainly in New Guinea and northern Australia. The new species have been named Cophixalus rajampatensis (pictured above) and Cophixalus salawatiensis (pictured below). A specimen of the new species, C. salawatiensis, was revealed to be a hermaphrodite.

The frog species were found in logged lowland rainforests. The male frogs perch on leaves of bushes after heavy rains and make their calls. The call of C. salawatiensis consists of a short series of 6 to 8 peeps or whistles. The calls of C. rajampatensis contain 2-5 finely pulsed notes which sound like peeps or whistles.

Cophixalus salawatiensis


A paper on the newly discovered arboreal frogs can be found here in the journal, Zoosystematics and Evolution.

Photos: Steve Richards