“Spectacular” new frog species named after adorable little girl

Written by on August 1, 2018 in Rare Critters - No comments

Almost a century after it was found, researchers at the University of Manchester have finally identified a wide-eyed green and golden frog as a new species.

And Andrew Gray, curator of herpetology at Manchester Museum, named the cute little creature Sylvia’s Tree Frog, (Cruziohyla sylviae) after his 3-year-old granddaughter.

The tree frog was originally collected in Panama in 1925, but was confused with the Splendid Tree Frog (Cruziohyla calcarifer).

It took the last 20 years of research to finally identify it properly.

“It’s remarkable that such a distinctive new species has remained undetected for such a long time,” Gray said in a statement. “However, more importantly, this work highlights that an assessment of the conservation needs for each species is urgently required to ensure these amazing creatures are still around in another 100 years.”

This is the Sylvia Tree Frog. University of Manchester

The Splendid Tree Frog was first found in 1902 and is much more rare — fewer than 50 specimens have been collected — and could soon face extinction, according to experts.

Meanwhile, fewer than 150 specimens of Sylvia’s Tree Frog have ever been recorded.

You can see how they would be confused.

This is the Splendid Tree Frog. University of Manchester

Using genetic and biochemical work, the findings — and official naming of the news species — have been published in the zoological journal, Zootaxa.

The frog, and Sylvia, are indeed cute as buttons.

Sylvia and her namesake. University of Manchester.

“It’s a real privilege to be maintaining such rare frogs in our collection and supporting amphibian conservation around the planet,” Esme Ward, director of Manchester Museum, said in a statement, adding the work could “make a real difference in shaping the future of wildlife conservation.”

Sylvia and the tree frog with her name. University of Manchester

It may be cute, but it isn’t easy being green.

Photos University of Manchester

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About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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