New Species Pictures: "Ugly" Salamander And More

Tadpole-Toting Frog
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Shown giving its tadpole a piggyback ride, this poison dart frog, which may have medical potential, is one of a dozen possible new species encountered during a conservation expedition to Nangaritza, an isolated mountain region of southeastern Ecuador, Conservation International announced June 16, 2009. (See video of the potential new species.)
Scientists hope the discoveries will compel the Ecuadorian government to protect the area, which they say also provides clean water to the local people.
Poison dart frogs lay their eggs in the moist forest floor and later carry the tadpoles to water, said Robin Moore, an amphibian expert with the nonprofit organization.

Spiny, Stealthy Katydid

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This camouflaged, spiny-crested katydid is one of seven found during the Ecuador expedition that could be new to science–or not, Conservation International announced June 16, 2009.

The insect may be a Diacanthodis formidabilis, but the only known specimen of that species was lost after it was documented in 1838 in Brazil.

“The katydid fauna of this region has been investigated … so it is really remarkable [to find] this many species new to science,” said biologist Leeanne Alonso of Conservation International.

“Ugly” Salamander Lacks Lungs
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You might call it E.T.-like, but scientists are calling this bug-eyed beauty “ugly,” according to a Conservation International report released June 16, 2009.

Probably of the genus Bolitoglossa, the potentially new species is nocturnal and apparently unafraid of heights.

“They are arboreal salamanders, which is unusual,” amphibian expert Robin Moore said. “They climb in vegetation. The vast majority of salamanders live on the ground or in water, they don’t climb.”

Like some other salamanders, the newfound animal is also lungless–it breathes though its skin. (See “First Lungless Frog Found.”)

Prickly Old New Lizard

The largest of the potential new species found in Ecuador is this spiky, frilled lizard, according to a June 16, 2009, Conservation International report.

Aside from looking “very cool,” in amphibian expert Robin More’s words, the “new” lizard is of the genus Enyaliodes, an especially ancient reptile group.

Katydid Sends Vibrating Valentines

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A potential new species, this emerald-legged katydid with tiny wings was found hanging out on low vegetation close to creeks and rivers between about 2,788 and 4,264 feet (850 and 1,300 meters), according to the June 16, 2009, report.

The males mating call is completely in ultrasound, except when they’re close to females. Then the suitors switch to vibration signals, apparently to evade detection by bats.

Walking Leaf

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The discovery of this katydid is shaking the branches of the “little walking leaves” family tree, Holger Braun, a biologist on the Ecuador expedition, said on June 16, 2009.

Where as previously known walking-leaf katydid “species” are actually just different-colored members of the same species, this one appears to be different from all others and should be classified as a new species, according to Braun.



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