Pea-sized frogs found in Borneo carnivorous plants
Thursday 26 August 2010
One of the world's tiniest frogs — barely larger than a pea — has been found living in and around carnivorous plants on Borneo island, one of the scientists who made the accidental discovery said today.
Indraneil Das, a scientist at University Malaysia Sarawak, said he and another scientist from Germany were doing field research on frogs in Malaysia's Sarawak state on Borneo island when they chanced on the tiny species on the edge of a road leading to the summit of a mountain in the Kubah National Park in 2006.
"For biologists, this is a curiosity," Das told The Associated Press.
The frogs were named Microhyla nepenthicola after the pitcher plant species where they live, Das said. A Malaysian museum had listed the species but misidentified it as juveniles of another frog species, he said.
The tubular plants are carnivorous, killing insects such as ants, but do not harm the frogs. Tadpoles grow in the liquid inside the plants.
Adult males of the amphibians range in size between 0.42 inches (10.6 millimeters) to 0.5 inches (12.8 millimeters), Das said.
The findings were published by Das and Alexander Haas of the Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum of Hamburg, Germany in peer-review journal Zootaxa last week after they completed their research on the frogs.
Das said because the frogs were so small, he and his colleague only found them by tracking their singing of "harsh rasping notes" at dusk. They caught them by making them jump on a white cloth near the pitcher plants.
He added that the discovery should encourage efforts to protect the biological diversity in Borneo's rain forests.
Das said the tiniest known frog found was in Cuba, with its size of at least 0.39 inches (9.8 millimeters).
Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island
Survival stories: When animals attack (and humans survive)
Plastic rubbish heaps at sea pose bigger threat to Earth than climate change, claims ocean expert
Silence to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of last ever passenger pigeon
The top 10 weirdest animal mating rituals
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
£26000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: SAP Assessor Job T...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: Year 6 larger then life teach...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: SEN Jobs Available Devon
£600 - £900 per day: Harrington Starr: Infrastructure Lead, (Trading infrastru...