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This new species of frog glows in UV rays3 min read

May 4, 2021 3 min read


This new species of frog glows in UV rays3 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Scientists discovered a new species of frog that doesn’t turn into a prince but definitely glows in UV rays.

Meet the newly found pumpkin toadlet!

Who are pumpkin toadlets?

Pumpkin toadlets are very close to what their name suggests. They are orange, and they are tiny (less than half-an inch long). They live in the warm forests of Brazil, and are often found on forest floors as against water.

Pumpkin toadlets belong to the genus Brachycephalus (Brachycephalus is a genus of really small frogs who live in the forests and remain active during daylight.

Wondering what genus is?

Owliver had earlier explained genus to our young readers in an article on a certain species. Here’s the image:

Can you guess which specie this article is talking about?

Sourced from Giphy

Around 36 species have been classified under Brachycephalus but is hard for scientists to decipher the difference within the genus. Different species of this frog look very similar to each other, and even their genetic make-up varies ever so slightly.

So, scientists have to look closely at everything to declare a new species within the genus, right from their bone structure to their song!

This intense research led herpetologist Ivan Nunes and colleagues to name the tiny Brachycephalus rotenbergae as a new species!

What’s new about the new species? 

The new species has a rounded snout, dark spots around the skull, and a very special sound in its chirps.

Frogs have got tunes!

You must have heard frogs croak all through the night. But that is hardly to put us to a sound sleep (or wake us from it). Frogs sing to attract mate. Female frogs have ears that tune into the specific call of their own kind so that the chorus from multiple sources does not come in the way of identification.

Because of their tiny size, they might be incapable of hearing the sound from other calls. But despite this deafness, they keep making their calls.

Unlike other members of the genus, the toadlet has bony plates attached to its skeleton along the skull and back. It also has rough texture bones that sit beneath the skin. Its bright colour might prove to be even more important than its songs while seeking identification. This colour can indicate the presence of poison that could prove to be fatal for other species.

And the species, like other members of its family, glows….

The new species shines a neon green under ultraviolet lights.

This could be to attract a mate, signal a rival male frog or some other biological role that demands further investigation.

The research team believes that there are many other pumpkin toadlets to be discovered, and Owliver will stay on their heels to bring news of new discovery to you.

Image sourced from Gizmodo

Sourced from Gizmodo and Smithsonian Magazine