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New Miniature Frog Discovered in Brazil

posted: 08/18/15
by: Discovery News
Brachycephalus quiririensis
LUIZ FERNANDO RIBEIRO/FUNDAÇÃO GRUPO BOTICÁRIO

On the heels of the announcement of seven new miniature frogs in the genus Brachycephalus found in Brazil in June comes news of an eighth: a tiny critter with a brown body and a bright orange stripe along its back, with similar coloring on its face.

Named Brachycephalus quiririensis, the new frog is just 1 centimeter (0.3 inches) long and lives only in a mountainous region of Serra do Quiriri, in Santa Catarina, Brazil.

The frog was discovered by M?rcio Pie, a professor of the Federal University of Paran? (UFPR), while he was cataloging the diversity of amphibious species living in the mountains between Sao Paulo and Santa Catarina.

Pie said the creature's striking appearance likely has a purpose. "We don't yet have confirmation," Pie said in a press release, "but we believe that this strong color is to warn predators that it is poisonous, and, thus, to protect it."

Pie stressed that B. quiririensis faces pressures in its native region from both pine plantation activity and livestock. "Although it is a mountain area, the raising of cattle is a major threat to this vulnerable amphibian," he said.

The frog lives only in a cold, humid environment. "Because of these conditions," Pie said, "the species is significantly sensitive to climate change and may already be threatened with extinction."

The scientist's findings about the new frog have just been published in the journal PeerJ.

This post originally appeared on Discovery News

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