New frog species discovered in Australia

Sydney, Oct 5 (IANS) A new frog species which closely resembles the Graceful tree frog (Litoria Gracilenta) was discovered in Australia’s largest virgin forest in Queensland, a scientist said on Wednesday.

The frog discovered in Queensland’s Cape York was only determined to be a new species on September 27 after undergoing rigorous tests for a year, scientist Jodi Rowley told Xinhua news agency.

Rowley said her colleague Keith McDonald from the Queensland museum had first laid eyes on the Cape York tree frog, scientifically known as Litoria Bella, in 2000 during one of his field-work outings.

However, it was only recently that the frog was determined to be a new species after a science journal verified their work and published the findings of it.

“By looking at differences in its appearance, as well as its advertisement call and DNA, we now conclude that the Cape York Graceful Tree frog is a distinct species, bringing the number of known frog species in Australia to 239,” McDonald said in the Australian museum blog.

Rowley said the discovery of the new frog species was a momentous occasion for the scientists as globally a third of the world’s frogs were threatened with extinction.

–IANS

sm/vt

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