Researchers Discover New Species of Cloud Forest Frog In The Philippines

Platymantis navjoti, is the 32nd species in the genus.
Platymantis Navjoti
Platymantis navjoti is light emerald green in coloration with a white belly showcasing rusty light brown spots. Photo by Cameron Siler, University of Oklahoma

A species of frog of the genus Platymantis has been discovered in the montane forests of Leyte and Samar islands in the Philippines. The frog, Platymantis navjoti, is the 32nd species in the genus. They are often called ground frogs, wrinkled ground frogs or forest frogs.

Dr. Arvin Diesmos of De La Salle University and the National Museum of the Philippines and Dr. Cameron Siler from the University of Oklahoma, lead authors of a paper describing the new species, found the amphibian in two places on the Mt. Nacolod in southern Leyte, and in north-central Samar island.

Platymantis navjoti inhabits lower to upper-montane forest from 600 m to at least 1,000 m (1,969-3,281 feet) elevation,” the researchers wrote in their paper. “At night, individuals were found perched on leaves of saplings, on fronds of rattan palms, on dead leaves that were entangled atop vegetation, or in spaces of curled leaves, from 0.5 m to 3 m (1.6-9.8 feet) above the forest floor.”


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The frog is light emerald green in coloration with a white belly showcasing rusty light brown spots. The dorsal surfaces of the amphibian’s head, body and limbs are dotted with irregular white dots. It is 2.1 to 2.9 cm in length from snout too vent. Small egg clutches (8-12) were found on top of leaves with the males seen guarding the eggs.

“The new species represents the first taxon in the Cloud Frog species known from the biogeographically unique Mindanao Pleistocene Aggregate Island Complex. Particularly susceptible to local extirpation following deforestation, all known species of Tirahanulap are important indicator species for environmental and conservation assessments, making this new species not only an exceptional addition to Philippine biodiversity but also an important symbol for conservation initiatives in the region,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

An abstract of the paper, “A new forest frog of the genus Platymantis (Amphibia: Anura: Ceratobatrachidae: subgenus Tirahanulap) from Leyte and Samar islands, eastern Philippines,” can be read on the Zootaxa website.

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