London: An expedition to the coastal rainforests of western Ecuador has discovered 30 new species of frog and a slug-sucking snake.
According to a report in New Scientist, most of the new animals were discovered in the forests of Cerro Pata de Pajaro, a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
14 of the 30 new species of frog discovered were found in a patch of cloud forest just a couple of miles wide.
The newly discovered frogs are “rain” frogs of the genus Pristimantis, which lay their eggs in trees.
As the eggs hatch, miniature versions of the adult frogs – some the size of a pinhead – fall into the water below.
One of the frogs is a so-called glass frog that has a transparent chest.
The team of scientists, who work for Reptile and Amphibian Ecology International, also identified four new species of stick insect, three species of lungless salamanders, a tiny, scaly-eyed gecko known as Lepidoblepharis buschwaldii and a bushmaster, which is the longest viper in the world.
“There is obviously a great concern that these species will disappear as soon as, or even before, they are formally described by science,” said team leader Paul Hamilton.