Researchers have discovered a new species of poisonous dart frog named, Andinobates geminisae, in waters of the Rio Cano in Panama. The researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Universidad Autonoma de Chiriqui in Panama, and the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia have discovered the species.
All the dart frog species are toxic in nature, and this newly found orange dart frog is no different, it is toxic is as well. It is also smallest in size among all the dart frog species, measuring only about half an inch.
The first specimen of the species was collected in February 2011 from the Rio Cocle del Norte, Rio Belen and a few other locations. Although the researchers held the samples for a while now, they were just recently declared a new species as researchers were unsure if the species color variation was just another poison dart frog species.
Before the researchers could confirm the species, they sequenced the frog’s DNA to make sure it was indeed a new species.
“Abel Batista and Marcos Ponce were the first to note the presence of this species,” said Cesar Jaramillo, Smithsonian herpetologist, in a news release. “They’ve known it was there for several years. However, they were not sure if it was only a variety of another poison dart frog species, Oophaga pumilio, which exhibits tremendous color variation. Based on morphological characteristics of the adult and the tadpole, I thought it might be a new species of Andinobates.
Researchers said; they aren’t very sure how long this unique species will live, and they fear, they may not get enough time to further conduct detailed research.