Lanka Leapfrogs

Lanka Leapfrogs Around 140 new frog species have been discovered in Sri Lanka's rainforest, catapulting the island to an amphibian hotspot of global significance.

A team of US, Belgian and Lankan scientists recorded the findings as they surveyed the island's disappearing wildlife. The researchers, led by Madhava Meegaskumbura, called for the preservation of Sri Lanka's remaining forest fragments as well as restoration of wild habitats.

The frogs fit into two different groups. One comprising just five species, which lay their eggs in foam nests in leaves, rocks or branches above the water. And the other under the category of newfound frogs. These are "direct developers', which hatch as tiny adults without the tadpole phase.

Explaining the disappearance of old, known species, Meegaskumbura said: "Given that the island has lost more than 95 per cent of its rainforest habitat, this is hardly unexpected. Still, the persistence of so many species is striking, and may be attributable to a combination of terrestrial eggs, direct-developing embryos and high fecundity.'

Related Content