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New glass frog species discovered in Ecuador

Though Hyalinobatrachium yaku is not the only see-through species in existence, its markings, unusual call, and reproductive behaviour set it apart from the rest.

May 30, 2017 12:08 IST
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A group of scientists have discovered a new species of glass frog, of the genus Hyalinobatrachium. The frog’s beating heart can be seen right through its chest.

The new species, Hyalinobatrachium yaku was found in the Amazonian lowlands of Ecuador.

The frog boasts green spots across its back and a ‘red heart fully visible’ underneath, visible due to the transparent membrane around its organs.

The discovery of the new glass frog was recently published in ZooKeys.

Though Hyalinobatrachium yaku is not the only see-through species in existence, its markings, unusual call, and reproductive behaviour set it apart from the rest.

 

New glass frog species discovered in Ecuador

Under risk

Given their habitat in the Amazonian lowlands, the researchers warn that these frogs are at risk.

Apart from environmental concerns such as water pollution, extraction of natural resources, increased the level of regional road development, could also threaten populations of the new species.

Oil extraction and the resulting road development could destroy their habitat and create barriers between nearby populations, preventing their dispersal and interaction.

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About glass frog

The glass frogs belong to the amphibian family Centrolenidae.

While the general background coloration of most glass frogs is primarily lime green, the abdominal skin of some members of this family is transparent.

The internal viscera, including the heart, liver, and gastrointestinal tract, are visible through the skin, hence the common name is given glass frog.

They are arboreal animals, meaning they spend most of their lives in trees and will come to the ground only during the mating season.

Females lay 20 to 30 eggs on the underside of leaves that hang right above the water. Males guard the eggs until these are ready to hatch and fall on the below water stream.

As of now, more than 60 different species of glass frogs are known, the latest being Hyalinobatrachium yaku.

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