A new type of frogs with different morphological and genetic features is found on a remote Ethiopian mountain.
While conducting field work on Mount Bibita in southwestern Ethiopia, Sandra Gute and colleagues from New York University in Abu Dhabi have encountered strange frogs so far.
Forests in the southwest of Ethiopia are known for their geographically unique animal diversity. The region has attracted the attention of many taxonomists and environmentalists, but due to difficulties in accessing the region, it remains largely unexplored.
In the diary ZooKeys, Goutte and colleagues describe a new member of one of the richest species of African frogs: Phrynobatrachus, known as pudding frogs. This genus is widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa and at least five species Phrynobatrachus were found in Ethiopia.
The morphological features of this new species that the authors offer to call P. bibitaare clearly distinguished from other Ethiopian ones PhrynobatrachusThey featured ten copies and, as Goutte explains, the lead author of the study,P. bibita has a thin body shape, with more oblong limbs, fingers and fingers.
The samples are mostly golden in color and relatively small for the genus. The toes and toes are particularly widespread, especially for women, and unlike other East African PhrynobatrachusTheir listening organs were completely hidden.
The fact that many of the females are found on vegetation near the eggs on the leaves shows that they can have a smaller lifestyle than most of their relatives. "The discovery of a climbing frog is very interesting, as the deposition of eggs on vegetation is unusual in this group of frogs," says Alan Channing, an African Amphibian expert at the University of West Cape, South Africa, who is not involved in learning.
It is possible the woman P. bibita Keep your eggs, which may be a manifestation of parental care. "This needs to be further explored, but if checked, it will be just the second example of parental care in the family," Gutet says.
The analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA genes from frogs, which can be used to lock evolutionary relationships between species, suggests that P. bibita is not closely related to any of the other Ethiopian species. "To our surprise, the new species is morphologically more similar to a group of frogs, with less connectivity (genetically) and geographically remote from their closest relatives. This opens up questions about the evolution of the general form of the body in the group and its philological history, "Gutet says.
"The authors have convincingly demonstrated the uniqueness of this frog and this study will certainly encourage further work in the area," said Changing.