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Three Tiny New Species of Frogs Found in Papua New Guinea

Sep 20, 2013 01:23 PM EDT

Three new species of frogs from the rainforests of Papua New Guinea have been descried in the latest edition of the journal Zookeys.

Each of the new frogs is incredibly tiny, with total body lengths about 20 millimeters. Their discovery came by way of Fred Kraus of the University of Michigan, who in 2011 described the frogs, Paedophryne dekot and Paedophryne verrucosa, which were then the smallest frogs known on Earth. In 2012 the description of Paedophryne amanuensis took the title of world's smallest frog, which is so small that two of the creatures could fit within the circumference of a dime.

All three of the new frog species are tiny, but they are of a different genus than the world's smallest frogs. At 20 millimeters long, they are about the size of a quarter, substantially larger than the tiniest of frogs.

New species of frogs are regularly described in scientific journals. Earlier this year eight new frog species were discovered in one mountain forest in Sri Lanka.

Kraus suspects that as he continues exploring Papua New Guinea he will find more new species.

"Although the description of the new species treated herein now brings to seven the number of Oreophryne species reported from the north-coast region of New Guinea, the presence from these areas of additional specimens of uncertain identity suggests that additional species likely await description," Kraus said of the the diversity of the genus within the region.

"I have at least a dozen more new Oreophryne species remaining to be described from this region, and large portions of this terrain system remain unsurveyed."

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