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Rwanda: Scientists Discover Small Frog Species Found Only in Rwanda

Scientists have discovered a new small-sized frog species with a squeaker-like sound in Rwanda. A study carried out by Maximilian Dehling, a researcher from the University of Koblenz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany between 2010 and 2018, showed that the new species is “locally endemic” in Nyungwe and Cyamudongo forests, inhabiting the leaf litter of montane forests between elevations of about 5,900 feet to about 7,200 feet.

“It differs from all other members of the genus by a unique combination of morphological characters,” the research paper, published in October in the Diversity journal, noted.

Dehling named it Arthroleptis nyungwensis, or the Nyungwe squeaker frog, after the Nyungwe forest. It is quite a small species, being only about 0.6 inches in length, with a “slender” body, “long” legs and roughly textured skin.

It varies in colour but generally has a brown-red body with small white dots speckled across its sides. The frog’s underside is a lighter brown with two distinct yellow-orange stripes on its belly.

The squeaker-like sound it makes is described by the researcher as “a very short, very high-pitched whistle.”

The new species was identified by its size, colouring, sound, skin texture, and body shape. A DNA analysis found the new species had at least 4.6 percent genetic divergence from its fellow squeaker frogs.

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