New Poison Dart Frog Species Discovered in Panama
Colombian researchers have discovered a new breed of bright orange poison dart frog in Donoso, Panama.
The frog, Andinobates Geminisae, was first thought to be part of another poison dart frog species called Oophaga Pumilio that sports a tremendous color variation.
Andrew Crawford from Universidad de Los Andes, however, sequenced the frog's DNA, confirming Geminisae belongs to the Andinobates species.
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Andinobates Geminisae became endangered because of the small area in which they lived; the loss of their habitat and people collecting them as pets, researchers said.
As a result, Geminisae is now included in a captive breeding program of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project. This project was funded by a consortium of six zoos and research institutions dedicated to saving amphibians from fungal diseases and habitat loss.
The frog was named after Geminis Varges, the wife of Marcos Ponce, one of the project founders and an expert on Panamanian herpetology.
Researchers said a specimen of the species was collected on February 21, 2011 in the Rio Caño located in Donoso, Colon Province in Panama.
It was collected by Samuel Valdes who was an environment office director of the MWH Global Inc.
Meanwhile, biologist Marcos Ponce and Abel Batista, a researcher, collected more specimens on Rio Cocle Del Norte and Rio Belen. After that, they deposited these specimens at the Museo de Vertebredos, Museo Herpetologico and Circulo Herpetologico in Panama.
They also said they found a unique call for the new breed of poisonous frogs available at http://amphibiaweb.org/.
Further information about the frog species is available on the Barcode of Life Data System and in Gen Bank, researchers said.