Boophis ankarafensis. A new frog on the block.

For anyone looking for an eye-catching avatar they could do a lot worse than use this picture of a new tree frog species found recently in Madagascar,

For some reason that I can’t just put my finger on, I have a feeling that one or two of our bloggers have expressed an affinity with frogs on occasions.

Here are a few details about this new find …

“Green with red speckles, the species looks quite similar to its closest relatives in the habitat – the banks of two streams in the Ankarafa Forest of Madagascar. But in addition to a large genetic divergence (one of more than 4.9 percent, based on analyzed gene fragments) the little frogs have one big distinction: Their call.

Vocal signaling is very important in the froggy world. Males use special calls to attract mates, and every species is a little (or a lot) different from its neighbors. In the case ofBoophis ankarafensis, it was the a missing “click” that got researchers’ attention.

The very similar Boophis bottae uses trill notes and click notes in its call, just like Boophis ankarafensis. But intense analysis of recordings revealed that B. ankarafensis trills at a faster rate, and when it “clicks,” the notes come in pulses of two. Boophis bottae tends to click in pulses of three. These minute differences help one Boophis distinguish itself from another.”

Definitely one to look out for!



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