New Brazilian frog discovery, name honours escaped slaves


This video is the film Quilombo, on the history of slavery in Brazil, and slaves’ resistance to it.

From Wildlife Extra:

New species of frog named after slaves

A tiny new species of narrow-mouthed frog from the Microhylidae family has been discovered in the Atlantic Forest of the Espírito Santo State, southeastern Brazil.

Measuring just 14mm, the new species has been name[d] Chiasmocleis quilombola after the quilombos communities typical of the Espírito Santo State in Brazil, where the frogs were collected.

Quilombola communities are descended from slaves who dared to escape during colonial Portuguese rule in Brazil between 1530 and 1815 and find a refuge in the depths of the Atlantic Forest.

Even today in the north of Espírito Santo State quilombola communities still remain and maintain alive their traditions, such as quilombola food and craftwork.

Chiasmocleis quilombola occupy coastal areas north of Espírito Santo State, a region that is under strong human pressure, therefore the species may face imminent threat of habitat loss.

The discovery was made by scientists from two US universities, the University of Richmond in Virginia and The George Washington University in Washington DC.

See also here.

The scientific description of the new species is here.

Common frog video


This is a video about a common frog near Gelderse Poort nature reserve in the Netherlands.

John Rothuis made the video.

California red-legged frog now state amphibian


This video is called California’s Amphibians: SAVE THE FROGS! Academy 2013-August 28.

From KPCC in the USA:

California red-legged frog named state amphibian

July 08 2014

The frog made famous in a tale by Mark Twain is now California’s official state amphibian.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation elevating the red-legged frog on June 30. The state library updated its online list of symbols the next day, although the bill doesn’t officially take effect until January.

Members of an afterschool club at Sea View Elementary School in Imperial County proposed AB2364, which was carried by Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez of Coachella. The red-legged frog is only found in California and was large enough to serve as a meal for Gold Rush-era miners.

It is now protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

It joins the grizzly bear, the California redwood and square dancing (the state folk dance) as one of 36 state symbols.

The Fall and Rise of the Amphibian Empire: here.

Jurassic fly larva, parasite on salamanders, discovered


This video says about itself:

The fossil of two froghopper insects in the act of mating has been uncovered by archaeologists in northeastern China after being buried for around 165 million years.

From World Science:

Bizarre parasite from Jurassic found

June 25, 2014

Courtesy of the University of Bonn and World Science staff

Re­search­ers from the Uni­vers­ity of Bonn and from Chi­na have dis­cov­ered a fos­sil fly lar­va with such a spec­tac­u­lar suck­ing ap­pa­rat­us, they have named it by the Chin­ese word for “bizarre.”

Around 165 mil­lion years ago, a spec­tac­u­lar par­a­site was at home in the fresh­wa­ter lakes of pre­s­ent-day In­ner Mon­go­lia in Chi­na, re­search­ers say. It was a ju­ve­nile fly with a thor­ax, or “ch­est,” formed en­tirely like a suck­ing plate.

With it, the an­i­mal could stick to sala­man­ders and suck their blood with its mouth­parts formed like a sting, ac­cord­ing to sci­en­tists. To date no in­sect is known with a si­m­i­lar de­sign. The in­terna­t­ional sci­en­tif­ic team is now pre­sent­ing its find­ings in the jour­nal eLIFE.

The par­a­site, a long fly lar­va around two cen­time­ters (a bit un­der an inch) long, had un­der­gone ex­treme changes over the course of ev­o­lu­tion, the re­search­ers said. The head is ti­ny in com­par­i­son to the body, tube-shaped with piercer-like mouth­parts at the front. The mid-body, or thor­ax, has been com­pletely trans­formed un­derneath in­to a gi­gantic suck­ing plate; the hind-body, or ab­do­men, has caterpillar-like legs.

The re­search team be­lieves that this un­usu­al an­i­mal lived in a land­scape with vol­ca­noes and lakes what is now north­east­ern Chi­na around 165 mil­lion years ago. In this fresh wa­ter hab­i­tat, they say, the par­a­site crawled on­to pass­ing sala­man­ders, at­tached it­self with its suck­ing plate, and pen­e­trated the thin skin of the am­phib­ians in or­der to suck blood from them.

“The par­a­site lived the life of Reil­ly,” said paleon­tologist Jes Rust from the Uni­vers­ity of Bonn. This is be­cause there were many sala­man­ders in the lakes, as fos­sil finds at the same loca­t­ion near Ningcheng in In­ner Mon­go­lia (Chi­na) have shown. “There sci­en­tists had al­so found around 300,000 di­verse and ex­cep­tion­ally pre­served fos­sil in­sects,” said the Chin­ese sci­ent­ist Bo Wang, a post­doc­tor­al re­searcher in paleon­tology at the Uni­vers­ity of Bonn.

The lar­va, which has re­ceived the sci­en­tif­ic name of Qiyia juras­si­ca, how­ev­er, was a quite un­ex­pected find. “Qiyia” in Chin­ese means “bizarre”; “jur­as­si­ca” refers to the Ju­ras­sic pe­ri­od to which the fos­sils be­long. A fine-grained mud­stone en­sured the good state of pre­serva­t­ion of the fos­sil.

Edible frog and flies, video


This video is about an edible frog and lots of flies in the Netherlands.

Jos van Zijl made the video..

Costa Rican warbler, parrots and squirrel


Rufous-capped warbler, 28 March 2014

Still 28 March 2013 in Costa Rica. After the indigenous people’s museum in San José, we arrived in a beautiful botanical garden in Santo Domingo de Heredia; where this rufous-capped warbler was.

Before we had seen that warbler, at 5pm, we had seen crimson-fronted parakeets flying.

Ten minutes later, a singing clay-coloured thrush.

And a rufous-naped wren.

Variegated squirrel, 28 March 2014

A variegated squirrel in a tree.

In ponds in the garden live two rare frog species.

Agalychnis annae, the blue-sided tree frog, used to be common in Costa Rica, the only country where it occurs. Now, it is threatened, living only at a few places in the densely populated Central Valley, like here.

This video is about blue-sided tree frogs in a terrarium.

Forrer’s grass frog is another species in this garden.

Attracting amphibians and reptiles to your garden


This is a Dutch video about attracting amphibians and reptiles to gardens.