Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 25th, 2007
A new species of mountain frog that changes color in response to its surroundings has been discovered in northeast Thailand.
The Odorrana aureola, known locally as the Phu Luang Cliff frog after the national park where it was found, can grow to 3.5 inches (80 millimeters) and has a green body which occasionally turns brown, researchers said.
“It reflects its surrounds,” said Tanya Chan-ard, curator of Bangkok’s National Science Museum, who studied the frog with a team of government biologists and researchers.
Tanya Chan-ard said it was the world’s newest species of mountain frog, and was found only in Phu Luang National Park, which covers parts of the three mountainous northeastern Thai provinces.
The frog can only be found at waterfalls and creeks between 3,300 and 4,900 feet (1,000 and 1,500 meters) above sea level, he added.
“We found the frog quite some time ago but we began seriously studying it at the DNA level last year,” said Tanya Chan-ard, who presented his findings at a seminar in Bangkok.
The team’s findings were confirmed by US-based experts with the natural history journal Fieldiana last year, he added.
Researchers do not know how many of the Odorrana aureola are in the Thai wild, but Tanya Chan-ard said there were probably not very many as they did not breed very often.adapted from an AFP news release, May 25, 2007