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News > Ecuador

Two New Species of 'Glass Frogs' Discovered in Ecuador

  • Glass frog.

    Glass frog. | Photo: Twitter/ @nuriapiera

Published 29 March 2022

Amphibians of the family Centrolenidae have transparent dorsal skin. The arrangement of their organs, bones, and physiological movements can be easily seen.

On Tuesday, the Ecuadorean Environment Ministry announced that researchers discovered two new species of glass frogs (genus Hyalinobatrachium), which were named the Mashpi (Hyalinobatrachium mashpi) and the Nouns (Hyalinobatrachium nouns).


$8.1 Trillion Required by 2050 To Tame Global Ecological Crisis

While the Mashpi glass frog lives in the forests of the Tayra and Mashpi Reserves in the Pichincha province, the Nouns glass frog inhabits the southwestern forests of the province of Imbabura, in the Río Manduriacu Reserve and Los Cedros. Both forests are located within the Choco Andino Biosphere Reserve, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the country.

The group of amphibians of the Centrolenidae family, which have transparent or completely translucent dorsal skin, are known as glass frogs. For this reason, you can easily see live the layout of its organs, bones and even physiological movements such as blood flow, digestion and breathing.

Like most amphibians, glass frogs are indicators of the good state of conservation of the forest and the cleanliness of water bodies.

In Ecuador, 64 species of glass frogs are known, 19 of which only live in this Andean country. These frogs are one of the most charismatic and well-known groups of amphibians worldwide, although they only live in tropical forests in Central and South America.

Amphibians cannot move long distances. Many times rivers, valleys or mountains are limits to separate one species from another, that is why conserving, protecting and studying the Andes and its inter-Andean valleys must be a priority for Ecuador.

The research team was led by Juan Manuel Guayasamin, from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and included Rebecca Brunner, Anyelet Valencia, Daniela Franco, Eva Ringler, Anderson Medina, Carlos Morochz, Lucas Bustamante, Ross Maynard, and Jaime Culebras.

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