Venezuelan and Colombian scientists have recently discovered a new frog species in the mountains of Perija, on the border of both countries.
Multicolored skin and singing, the Hyloscirtus japreria, which lives in rivers and streams above 1,000 meters altitude, was discovered during expeditions that began about ten years ago . Its name pays tribute to japrerias, a missing indigenous ethnic group that inhabited this area of the Zulia state (northwestern Venezuela).
This discovery was published in February in the scientific journal Zootaxa. This is the 37th identified species of Hyloscirtus, a genus of amphibians. “We took several years to prove that it was a new species,” says biologist Fernando Rojas-Runjaic, coordinator of the study.
The males, smaller, measure between 2.8 and 3.2 cm and females 3.5 to 3.9 cm.
Little by little, expeditions, cameras, high-definition recorders were taken to the site by scientists, to document the song of this species and submit the recordings to “bioacoustic analyzes”. “When the male appeared for the first time, it was an intellectual orgasm,” recalls Edwin Infante, who participated in mountain walks for several days, on foot or by donkey. He describes his singing singularly as a “prolonged piu”.
Hyloscirtus japreria is also characterized by its pale yellow back, with brown and reddish spots. White lines are also present in the eyes, ears, thighs and front legs.
Specimens have been found on both sides of these mountains, the Colombian side having long been inaccessible to researchers because of the armed conflict that has bloodied the country for more than half a century.