A new species of puddle frog has been found in a previously unexplored mountain in southwestern Ethiopia.
The creatures have characteristics that are easily distinguishable from other Ethiopian puddle frogs, such as a slender body with long legs, elongated fingers and toes, and a golden tint.
DNA sequencing of tissue samples taken from the minute frogs by a team at NYU Abu Dhabi confirmed that it was genetically different from any other species.
The Bibita Mountains in southern Ethiopia is an area of isolated forest that had remained explored by scientists until last summer.
The tiny frogs were given the lengthy scientific name Phrynobatrachus bibita sp. nov. and measure 17 mm long for males and 20 mm for females.
Postdoctoral researcher Sandra Goutte, who was on the expedition to Bibta Mountain, said: ‘When we looked at the frogs, it was obvious that we had found a new species, they look so different from any Ethiopian species we had ever seen before!’
They new species are easily distinguishable from even closely related puddle frogs due to its unique morphological characteristics.
Dr Reyes-Velasco, who initiated the exploration of the mountain, said the fruitful trip was in fact a second attempt by the research team to the region.