A new species of frog has been discovered by scientists, which is truly remarkable.
The frog in question, Litoria mira, is a tree frog known as the "chocolate frog" due to its brown coloring, and was discovered by Australian
researchers in a swamp in New Guinea
's lowland rainforests.
“The closest known relative of Litoria mira is the Australian green
tree frog,” said Griffith University and Queensland
Museum phylogeneticist Paul Oliver in a press release. “The two species look similar except one is usually green, while the new species usually has a lovely chocolate coloring.”
Other distinctions include a small violet patch at the edge of the newly discovered frog's eyes, as well as the chocolate frog's smaller size.
Oliver was the lead author on a paper about the frog that was published last month in the Australian Journal of Zoology.
According to Australian herpetologist Steve Richards, the area where the frog was discovered is relatively inhospitable to humans, which may explain why scientists were unaware of the frog previously.
“It’s swampy, spiky, there are lots of malaria-carrying mozzies [mosquitoes], it floods, there are crocodiles, and there aren’t many roads,” he explained, adding that the day he discovered the chocolate frog, he also had to flee a swarm of giant hornets.
According to Science
Alert, the researchers believe the little brown frog is fairly common in New Guinea, and the frog's scientific name is a tribute to the scientists' surprise at the discovery, according to a Griffith University statement from Oliver.
“We named this new Litoria frog species Mira, which means surprised or strange in Latin, because it was a surprising discovery to find an overlooked relative of Australia’s well-known and common green tree [frog] living in New Guinea’s lowland rainforests,” he said.