A new frog species, detected from Peru’s Andean forests is named after famous British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough. In the past years, large numbers of living and vanished wildlife genus, including some species of reptiles, invertebrates, mammals, and plants have been named after Sir David Attenborough – the celebrated British broadcaster and naturalist. However, in a one-of-its-kind attempt, a new species, belong to flesh belly frog has been named after the famous naturalist and host of the Life series of BBC Natural History.
According to the detailed paper, published in journal ZooKeys, the scientific name of the new frog genus is ‘Pristimantis attenboroughi’. However, it will be commonly recognised as the Attenborough’s rubber frog, an honourable tribute to world famous personality – David Attenborough. The frog was collaboratively discovered by Dr. Edgar Lehr, from the Illinois Wesleyan University and Dr. Rudolf von May from the University of Michigan from Andean Forest of Peru. During an explorative project, going on between 2012 and 2014, both researchers, alongside their team scrutinised the forests of central Peru to weigh up the preservation status of local reptiles and amphibians.
During this operation, they came across the never-before-seen, tiny frog in the forests of Peru and after going through its unusual characteristics, the researchers categorised it as a new frog species. Alongside the new one, the researcher also stumbled upon a number of new frog species during their two years’ of the explorative mission.
The presence of the Attenborough’s rubber frog is detected in a number of forestry areas across the Pui Pui Protected Forest, located at a height between 3400 and 3936 m a.s.l. in central Peru. As highlighted by the founders, the size of the adult male Attenborough’s rubber can go up to 14.6-19.2 mm in length, while the female frogs measure between 19.2 and 23.0 mm. It means the female frogs of this species are longer than their counterparts. Moreover, the colours of the frogs are recorded in four variants like pale, dark gray, reddish brown and brownish olive. The younger frogs from this genus are more bloodless – yellowish to reddish brown, said the lead author of the study.
According to the lead author of the study, “We have dedicated the new frog species to honour Sir David Frederick Attenborough. As a tribute to his educational excellence and documentaries on wildlife, especially on amphibians like Life in Cold Blood, Fabulous Frogs, and to his initiatives to create awareness about the significance of wildlife conservation, we have recorded the new frog species after the name of him.”