Six species of Haiti's 'lost frogs' are found

January 12th, 2011 in Biology / Plants & Animals
These images courtesy of Conservation International shows Top Row L-R: Hispaniolan Ventriloquial Frog, Mozart's Frog and the La Hotte Glanded Frog. Bottom Row L-R:Macaya Breast-spot Frog, Hispaniola Crowned Frog and the Macaya Burrowing Frog.


These images courtesy of Conservation International shows Top Row L-R: Hispaniolan Ventriloquial Frog, Mozart's Frog and the La Hotte Glanded Frog. Bottom Row L-R:Macaya Breast-spot Frog, Hispaniola Crowned Frog and the Macaya Burrowing Frog.

Conservationists say they have found six rare frog species that are unique to the Caribbean nation of Haiti and have not been seen in about two decades.

The discovery, which came despite heavy and widespread damage from last year's deadly quake, was made during an expedition in October to search for frogs that are rarely seen and could be on the verge of extinction.

Among the unusual researchers found were a whistling frog named after composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a "ventriloquist" frog that can throw its voice to send predators in the wrong direction.

They also found in the mountains of southwest Haiti a burrowing, black-eyed frog with orange hind legs and a speckled frog with dazzling sapphire eyes.

The team, led by Conservation International scientist Robin Moore and Blair Hedges of Pennsylvania State University, embarked on the search in order to find the elusive La Selle Grass frog (E. glanduliferoides), unseen in over 25 years.

They didn't find that frog, but uncovered tantalizing glimpses of a handful of Haiti's other 48 of amphibians.

"We went in looking for one missing species and found a treasure trove of others," said Moore.

"That, to me, represents a welcome dose of resilience and hope for the people and wildlife of Haiti."

(c) 2011 AFP

"Six species of Haiti's 'lost frogs' are found." January 12th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-01-species-haiti-lost-frogs.html