Terug naar het overzicht

New toads named from a Sumatran biodiversity trove that’s under threat

06 / 11 / 2019, Mongabaycom News

In 2017, a group of researchers working in Indonesia announced they had identified a new genus of tree-dwelling toads living in forests and caves on the mountaintops of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island. Their paper at the time identified two species belonging to what they described as the genus Sigalegalephrynus, or puppet toads, named after the Sigale-gale puppets used in local funerary traditions. Now, in a new paper published in October 2019, the team has described three additional species belonging to the genus, highlighting the stunning and largely underexplored diversity of reptiles and amphibians in Sumatra. “Sumatra is one of the islands of the world that harbor highest level of biodiversity and we are convinced that we barely scratched the surface of it,” said lead author Goutam Sarker, a herpetologist at the University of Texas at Arlington, in an email to Mongabay. “Very confidently, we can say there are many more new taxa awaiting discovery.” The research team conducted surveys between 2013 and 2016, funded by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation. The team, which includes scientists from research institutes in Indonesia, the United States and Germany, spent 178 days in the field collecting samples. Conditions were often grueling; Sarker recalls falling backward off a “7-8 meter high” cliff, about 26 feet, during a nighttime survey in Aceh province. A backpack full of air-filled specimen bags cushioned his fall. “Otherwise, I would be dead,” Sarker recalls. But the work paid off. The five species identified as belonging to the genus…This article was originally published on Mongabay

Naar artikel