New Species Discovered in New Guinea

by Rebecca on October 5, 2010

in Animal Pictures,Animal Stories,Animals in the News

Alan Boyle writes: Conservationists are celebrating the discovery of more than 200 new species in the remote mountains of Papua New Guinea, ranging from flowers to frogs to mice.

This cute little feather-tailed possum was attracted to a light-trap put up by entomologists to catch nighttime insects at around a mile of elevation in the Muller Mountains. It may have been attempting to catch and eat moths. This animal is only known from this site and a nearby mountain, where it was discovered in 1985. The species still does not have a name.

This new species of frog (genus Litoria) has extremely variable color patterns and distinct yellow spots in the groin. The colorful frogs were surprisingly difficult to spot in the lush foliage along small rainforest streams in the Muller Range. Males were most frequently identified after they uttered a very soft ticking sound to attract females in the vicinity.

Living 100 feet above the ground in the forest canopy, this large bright green frog was more often heard than seen in Papua New Guinea’s Muller Range. At night, males proclaimed their presence with loud, guttural croaking sounds high above the camp – causing much frustration among the visiting scientists. The expedition’s local tree-climber proudly delivered a handsome male to the researchers.

A 2008 expedition, also led by Conservation International, turned up more than 50 new species of animals in a remote region of Papua New Guinea. This loudmouthed frog, part of the Litoria genus, was one of the discoveries. Frogs from this group call loudly for mates, with a sharp and ringing song that can be heard above the rushing water of torrential mountain streams.

This large and spectacular Nyctimystes tree frog, apparently representing a previously unknown species, was found next to a clear mountain river. Frogs of this genus are found mainly in New Guinea’s montane tropical forests, where they lay their eggs under stones in rivers and streams.

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