As we have seen in an earlier contribution here on my blog, poison dart frogs are in general beautifully colored creatures of a somewhat dangerous nature due to the poison they carry in their skin. There are more than 175 species of poison dart frogs known to science and last week a press release from the German Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung announced the discovery of a new posion dart species, Allobates amissibilis. The species’ Latin name, amissibilis, translates as ‘that may be lost’ and refers to the location where the species has been discovered, the Iwokrama Mountains in Central Guyana, which was the stage for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s book ‘The Lost World’. Scientists were working on a project in this region, investigating the impact of planned ecotourism development on Atelopus hoogmoedi, a Harlequin toad, and by chance stumbled upon this new species of frog. Happy to see that we are still expanding our knowledge of the natural world and these beautiful frogs in particular.
Here follows the article from Mongabay.com giving more details on this discovery:
“Scientists have described a new species of poison dart frog after discovering it during a study to determine the impact of tourism on biodiversity in a tract of rainforest known as “The Lost World” in Guyana.
The scientists named the frog Allobates amissibilis— in Latin, “that may be lost” — in recognition of its home, which was the set for British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1912 book,The Lost World. The frog was discovered near Turu Falls, a waterfall at the foot of the Iwokrama Mountains in Central Guyana.
According to the Senckenberg Nature Research Society, the intent of the study was to investigate populations of another frog, the Hoogmoeds harlequin frog (Atelopus hoogmoedi), to determine whether it might be impacted by planned ecotourism development in the region. While the researchers were conducting their survey, they came across the thumbnail-sized frog, which they couldn’t identify. Subsequent analysis showed it to be an undescribed species.
Allobates amissibilisis now the third Allobates species know from Guyana. Like other poison dart frogs, it derives its toxicity from the ants, mites, and other invertebrates on which it feeds. The species is thought to be a “micro-endemic” — found in only a small area of habitat.”