Identification of tree frogs and brown dwarf frogs in Vietnam

Researchers from the Institute of Genome Research have recently discovered two new amphibian species in Vietnam. The first species, called the grass frog (Zhangixalus Thaoae), was found by a research team from the Institute of Genome Research, as well as German and Russian scientists, in Lao Cai province. This species belongs to the genus Zhangixalus and was discovered at an altitude of nearly 1,900 m above sea level. The discovery was published in the magazine Zookeys on April 8, adding to the number of species of this genus recorded in Vietnam to 10.

The second species, known as the brown dwarf frog (Vietnamophryne aurantifusca), was previously discovered by Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyen Thien Tao and his research team in Tuyen Quang. This species has similar morphological characteristics to the chiang rai dwarf frog V. occidentalis found in Thailand, but is characterized by its orange-brown back with large black spots, and a yellow-orange chest and abdomen.

Both new species were found to be distributed in Northern Vietnam, highlighting the diverse amphibian fauna in Vietnam, especially in hard-to-reach locations in high mountains. Associate Professor Tao emphasized the importance of studying the biology and ecology of these new species, including reproduction, tadpole description, and population size in the wild, to further understand and protect these unique amphibians.

By Samantha Robertson

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