The first discovery was a few weeks ago, the Manduriacu crystal frog, which despite being found recently, seems to be in danger of extinction due to the extractive activities of gold and copper. The second species, a Pristimantis malii frog, appeared in the Llanganates-Sangay corridor and the 3rd was a rediscovery of the Horn frog.
MANDURIACU CRYSTAL FROG
It was found in a protected and private area of primary forests called the Manduriacu River Reserve, province of Imbabura. Diego Cisneros Heredia, one of the authors of the publication on the discovery, comments that this species is different from other glass frogs because of the “grayish green color with several yellow spots” and also has no membranes between the fingers. The species is new in the country but is already in danger of extinction due to the harmful effects of mining, agriculture, felling of trees and palm plantations.
PRISTIMANTIS MALII FROG
Discovered in a specific area of the Río Zuñag de Ecominga Ecological Reserve, located southeast of the Llanganates National Park. According to Mario Yánez, a researcher at the National Institute of Biodiversity (Inabio), this amphibian is identified by the “combination of unique characteristics in color, morphology and genetic sequences.” Other characteristics are “having the skin of the back and finely granular flims of light brown to brown, with dark brown irregular marks and yellowish irregular marks in the English”.
RED-COVERED MARSUPIAL FROG
Its scientific name is Gastrotheca cornuta. It lives in the trees and its main characteristic is its horns over its eyes. For 14 years no one had seen it in Ecuador, long enough to consider it extinct. Since 2005 it showed no signs of life, and it was only a few months ago that it was found in the Ecuadorian Chocó area. El Comercio narrates the researchers’ experience on the amphibian discovery:
“At approximately 5:30 p.m., they started listening to a particular sound. Although the sound surprised them, they thought it could be another of the common species of that place. Three hours later, one of the companions managed to observe an animal with “a different glow in its eyes.” When they approached and managed to see it, they realized that it was this frog that had not been seen in more than a decade. “I will never forget the happy face of my colleagues when we found it.”
WHERE DO THE NAMES OF THESE NEW SPECIES COME FROM?
Normally from Latin and Greek, or from other languages, they also come from names of scientists or from words that carry special meaning, even names, sometimes, are presented by wrong pronunciations. In the case of “Pristimantis malii”, the amphibian was immortalized in an auction. The objective in mind of this process was to raise funds to protect the habitat of the new species.
Ecuador is one of the most bio diverse countries in the world, full of unique life and, probably, home to more species that haven’t been discovered yet. For this and many reasons, it is the responsibility of Ecuadorians to take care of the environment and be aware that our actions and activities, many avoidable, are causing enormous damage to the flora and fauna of the country.
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