“Litoria Mira” — A Chocolate Frog Species found in New Guinea

What is the News?

A research team led by Griffith University has discovered a new Frog Species in New Guinea. It has been named Litoria Mira.

About Litoria Mira:
Source: – Indian Express
  • The Litoria Mira or chocolate frog is a tree frog belonging to the genus Litoria.
  • Name: Litoria is the genus of the common tree frog, and Mira comes from Latin mirum which means strange or surprised.
  • When was it discovered? The frog was first discovered in 2016 in the rainforest swamps of New Guinea. However, it took years to complete the genetic analysis and found out that it is a completely new tree frog species.
  • Litoria Mira can be distinguished from all other Litoria. It has a unique combination of moderately large size, webbing on hand, relatively short and robust limbs, and small violet patch of skin on the edge of its eyes.
  • Moreover, it was found that the litoria Mira looks similar to the Australian green tree frog. However, there is only one difference, the former is usually green while Litoria Mira usually has chocolate coloring.
Why do chocolate frogs and Australian green tree frogs look similar?
  • Australia and New Guinea used to be linked by land for much of the late Tertiary period (2.6 million years ago) and share many biotic elements.
  • However, today the island of New Guinea is separated from the ‘horn’ of Queensland by the Torres Strait. New Guinea is dominated by rainforest, and northern Australia by the savannah.
  • Hence, the two frog species have now evolved to become genetically distinct to a point where they will not be able to breed.

Source: Indian Express

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