A New York researcher looking for the calling of a specific leopard frog didn’t have to travel into the rainforest or other densely populated areas around the world to discover a new species, that’s because the newest frog discovery was made in Staten Island during a 2009 “expedition.”
Jeremy A. Feinberg, a doctoral candidate in ecology and evolution at Rutgers University was listening for the mating call of the southern leopard frog which uses a repetitive chuckle, instead he heard a single cluck.
Feinberg and four other scientists spent the next three years performing multiple field and laboratory studies before they were comfortable enough to call the animal a new species of leopard frog.
Researchers have not yet named the frog species which has likely now been discovered in several areas around New York.
The new species was identified with the help of genetic testing after it was shown to have a nearly identical appearance to the original leopard frog.
Scientists have now discovered more than a dozen leopard frogs that exist from Canada to Central America. The frogs can be identified by its dark spots on a tan, olive or green background. The frogs are typically located near grassy meadows while breeding in ponds or pools.
Findings from the discovery and following study will be published in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution and they can already be found online.
When asked what he wants to call the frog Feinberg said:
“I’ve given it lots of thought. Part of me has always wanted to call these New York leopard frogs, but I think people in New Jersey and Connecticut will protest. I have to balance the politics with the naming.”
What do you think the new species of the leopard frog should be named?