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Asia`s smallest frog species found in Borneo

Last Updated: Friday, August 27, 2010 - 12:20

Kuala Lumpur: Asia`s smallest frog species has been found in the Malaysian part of Borneo island, scientists say.

The tiny frogs were discovered on the forest floor by Indraneil Das, a scientist at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, and his German colleague Alexander Haas, from Hamburg University`s Zoological Museum, in Kubah National Park, located in the Matang Range of Sarawak state.

In a description paper by the authors of the newly published scientific paper in the Zootaxa journal, the pea-sized new species were called "the Old World`s smallest frog and one of the world`s tiniest."

The frog`s maximum length is 16 millimeters in females but most specimens, and males in particular, are smaller, in the range of 10-11 mm.

They are colored in shades of brown.

Given the small size of the new species, which was given the common name "Matang Narrow-mouthed Frog," collection of the frogs proved to be a challenge even though they were locally abundant.

Most specimens they managed to catch were males tracked down by their calls, which commence at dusk.

The males form calling aggregations within and around patches of pitcher plants, or Nepenthes ampullaria, which grow under the forest canopy and are utilized by the frogs for breeding.

The frogs, which are in the genus Microhyla comprising miniature frogs, were given the scientific name Microhyla nepenthicola, the latter part of which is Latin for "inhabitant of pitcher plants."


First Published: Friday, August 27, 2010 - 12:20
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