Three new species of tiny frogs from the remarkable region of Papua New Guinea

Sep 20, 2013
This image shows the news species Oreophryne cameroni from Keki Lodge, Adelbert Mountain Range. Credit: Fred Kraus

Three new species of tiny frogs from Papua New Guinea are described in the latest issue of Zookeys. Dr Fred Kraus, University of Michigan, who in 2011 in Zookeys described the world's smallest frogs Paedophryne dekot and Paedophryne verrucosa, now adds another 3 species from the genus Oreophryne to the remarkable diversity of this region.

The three new species Oreophryne cameroni, Oreophryne parkopanorum and Oreophryne gagneorum are all rather minute, with total body lengths of around 20 mm. These tiny , however are still substantially larger than the species that claimed the smallest frog prize in 2011. Paedophryne dekot and Paedophryne verrucosa are only half of the length of the three new additions to the frog diversity of Papua New Guinea, with an astonishingly small body size ranging between 8-9 mm.

The to which the new species belong is largely restricted to New Guinea and its satellite islands. Of the constituent genera, Oreophryne is presently one of the largest within the Papuan Region.

This is the new species Oreophryne gagneorum from Rossel Island, 720 m elevation. Credit: Fred Kraus

This image shows one of the news pecies Oreophryne parkopanorum from near summit of Mt. Sapau. Credit: Fred Kraus

"Although the description of the new species treated herein now brings to seven the number of Oreophryne species reported from the north-coast region of New Guinea, the presence from these areas of additional specimens of uncertain identity suggests that additional species likely await description," explains Dr Kraus about the diversity of the within the region. "I have at least a dozen more new Oreophryne species remaining to be described from this region, and large portions of this terrane system remain unsurveyed."

Explore further: Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones

More information: Kraus F (2013) Three new species of Oreophryne (Anura, Microhylidae) from Papua New Guinea. ZooKeys 333: 75. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.333.5795

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