A new species of frog, which is small with bright orange eyes, has been discovered in forested mountains in southern Vietnam, where it is believed to face extinction threat due to habitat loss.
Dr Jodi Rowley, a co-odinator of Australian Museum Research Institute, described in a new post on the museum’s website that the forest-dependent species, Orange-eyed Litter Toad (Leptolalax pyrrhops), has small and brown with black spots and bright fiery eyes which have fire color.
It was first discovered by her Russian colleagues, who asked her to decide if it was a new species.
The conclusion came after a lot of detective work - comparing color, pattern and body measurements, DNA and the call of the male member with other frogs in the genus.
“We named it in honor of its beautiful bright orange eyes.”
Frogs in the genus are known as “Litter Frogs”, “Leaf-litter Frogs”, or “Litter Toads” as they depend on thick layers of leaf-litter on the forest floor.
Rowley has spent years researching frogs that live on the forest floor of Southeast Asia, because "they might become extinct before people even know about them," she said.
The frogs rely so heavily on clear streams and relatively dense forests, which are disappearing fast in the region.
The biologist said the discovery of the new frog can hopefully be the start of its conservation.