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Four new toads discovered in Sumatra

21 / 09 / 2017, Mongabaycom News

BOGOR, Indonesia — Scientists described four new toads from the hills of Sumatra, adding to the island’s already astounding biodiversity. The discoveries mark the first Sumatran additions to the Philautus genus of shrub frogs since the early 20th century. Several were described in the Western Ghats of India in 2009. The researchers published their findings in Herpetological Monographs last month. They hail from the University of Brawijaya in Indonesia, and the University of Texas at Arlington and Broward College in the U.S. Specimens of the newly described species — Philautus amabilis, Philautus polymorphus, Philautus thamyridion and Philautus ventrimaculatus — were collected from 2013 to 2015 in jungles over 1,000 meters above sea level. As in the rest of Indonesia, the forests of Sumatra are full of unknown creatures, but are rapidly dwindling as industry expands, especially in the agriculture and mining sectors. Globally, scientists believe that more than 80 percent of species remain undiscovered. Maps showing the distribution of the Sumatran Philautus genus. Image courtesy of Herpetological Monographs. The four toads differ from one another in their skin patterns, limb shapes and voices. The last name of Philautus amabilis derives from a Latin word meaning “charming” or “pretty.” For the scientists, this defines the toad’s bright brown back and the dark lines that appear on its arms, thighs, hind legs and outer fingers. The name Philautus polymorphus was inspired by its variety of colors and patterns, but the animal is recognizable by the cone-shaped bumps on its eyelids. Philautus thamyridion was named after Thamyris,…

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