Two New Tree Frog Species Discovered in Taiwan

Posted on February 2, 2016

Kurixalus berylliniris

Scientists have discovered two new species of tree frogs living in the broadleaf forests of Taiwan. The frogs have gemstone-colored eyes. They were discovered by a research team led by Dr. Shu-Ping Wu from University of Taipei.

One of the new species, Kurixalus berylliniris (pictured above), has emerald eyes that match its body. The species name translated from Latin to "green-colored iris." The slender-bodied frog dwells among the leaves of moist forests in eastern Taiwan. The males have a body length of about 35 mm and the females have an average body length of 41 mm.

The second new species, Kurixalus wangi (pictured below), is named after herpetologist Mr. Ching-Shong Wang. It has golden-yellow eyes. It averages 30 mm for males and 34 mm for females.

Kurixalus wangi


The frogs both lay their eggs in tree holes. Both species demonstrate oophagy, which is where tadpole embryos feed on eggs produced by the ovary while still inside the mother's womb.

The researchers say in a statement, "The actual amphibian species diversity on the island of Taiwan is likely higher than currently thought, given the diverse habitats and the dynamic history of geographic events. Although Taiwan is a highly developed island with significant alterations to the natural landscape and destruction of critical habitats for amphibians, it is noteworthy that during the last fifty years, six of the seven newly described frog species in Taiwan were tree frogs inhabiting forested areas."

The research paper can be found here in the journal, ZooKeys.

Photos: Dr. Shu-Ping Wu