Two New Frog Species Discovered in Sumatra

Diana Mariska
Two species of Megophrys were discovered in Sumatra.
Two species of Megophrys were discovered in Sumatra. - Scientists from Indonesia’s National Research and Innovation Agency, or BRIN, have recently discovered two new species of frogs from Sumatra. The two species are sumatra-selatan (south-sumatra) horned frogs (Megophrys selatanensis) and aceh horned frogs (Megophrys acehensis).

Herpetologist Amir Hamidy said in a statement on Monday, 15 November 2021, that each Megophrys species in Sumatra likely has limited distribution. Out of the five species found in Sumatra, four of them are endemic. In addition, Megophrys is also found in forests in the island’s lowland and highland.

The researcher cited forest land diversion for agriculture and oil palm plantation posing a major danger to the preservation of Megophrys.

The two Megophrys were successfully identified upon evaluation on its taxonomy status by using molecular and morphological data.

During the herpetofauna survey along the Barisan Mountains in Sumatra, scientists found the population of southern-Sumatran Megophrys with smooth dorsal skin, which is morphologically similar to that of M. Montana from Java. The team also found a population whose dorsal skin is also similar to that of M. parallela from northern Sumatra.

In this research, Amir worked with collaborators Kanto Nishikawa from the University of Tokyo and Eric N. Smith from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Member of the research team Misbahul Munir explained that horned frogs are famous for their unique characteristic in which they have sharp, horn-like protuberances from a set of modified snout and eyelids.

Currently, 13 species if Megophrys have been discovered across Southeast Asia, including in Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, and the Philippines. At least six of the 13 were discovered in Kalimantan.

Tag # environment # researc # brin # national research and innovation agency # animal # fauna

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