London, Jan 13 (IANS) A team of European scientists has discovered two new species of very elusive frogs that live in the rainforests of Tsaratanana Massif, the highest mountain in Madagascar.
“Those mountains are home to a high level of native species and are very rarely visited by researchers seeing as there are no roads and barely any paths that lead to the base,” said one of the study authors David Vieites, scientist at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid (MNCN-CSIC), Spain.
In spite of this, the team of scientists from Germany and Spain ventured into these remote rainforests and as a result of the expedition the biologists found a number of species including two new species of frogs — Rombophryne ornata and Rombophryne tany.
“Both species live on the forest floor among the fallen leaves and are difficult to spot,” Vieites noted.
Rombophryne ornata, which received its name owing to its colour and decorative features, can be told apart from other frogs of the same genus by the reddish colour it presents.
It has a black mark between each eye as well as on its back, and it also presents spines located over its eye sockets.
The species Rombophryne tany has brownish colour, and also has the tendency to spend time on the ground.
This species also presents spines over each eye, the researchers said.
Discovering this species “is another example of the great diversity of animals in tropical areas that have yet to be described before many of these areas disappear as a result of the deforestation suffered by tropical regions – especially Madagascar,” the researcher said.
The findings were detailed in the journal ‘Herpetelogica.