New Peruvian frog leaps into amphibian species ledger

Undated handout picture released by the Peruvian National Service of Protected Natural Areas (SERNANP) of a new species of frog belonging to the Pristimantis-sira species. — AFP

Peruvian officials on Wednesday announced the discovery of a brand-new frog, a spotted brown critter with an unusual eye coloring and no eardrum, in a natural park in the Amazon jungle. The jumper belongs to the Pristimantis sira family that inhabits the mountain forests between 1,550-2,200 meters (5,000-7,200 feet) above sea level, according to the state service for natural protected areas (SERNANP). It was found in the El Sira reserve in central Peru. “Once again, Peru’s protected natural areas are making a valuable contribution to science,” the SERNANP said in a statement.

The previously unknown creature sports a brown or dark gray body with white spots. It has a distinctive cross marking on the iris, and a copper-orange ring around the pupil. It is also distinguished by having no eardrum. The El Sira reserve is a protected natural area of some 600,000 hectares, where 105 species of reptiles, lizards and snakes have been recorded as well as 68 species of amphibians, mainly toads and frogs. Last week, the SERNANP announced the discovery of another new frog, of the Gastrotheca genus of tailless amphibians. – AFP


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