SURINAME-FROG_2690822bAn expedition of 16 scientists to the remote and uninhabited region of South America catalogued 1,378 plants, ants, fish, insects, birds, mammals and amphibians.

The biologists believe they have identified 60 species that are potentially new to science, including six frogs, one snake and eleven fish.

LITTLE-BEETLE_2690827cAmong the new species to be found was a chocolate coloured frog that lives in the trees, named the cocoa frog (Hypsiboas sp.).

A ruby coloured dung beetle measuring just 2.3mm (0.09 inches) in length called the Lilliputian beetle (Canthidium cf. minimum), which has antler-like antennae.

GRASSHOPPER_2690831cA new grasshopper-like insect, called Pseudophyllinae teleutin, was found to have has sharp spines along its legs to deter predators.

A new species of brown and white coloured poison dart frog (Anomaloglossus sp.) was also found, along with a new snouted tree frog (Scinax sp.), which announced its existence by leaping onto the camp table during dinner one night of the expedition.

POSION-DART-FROG_2690835cThe team also found 25 species of water beetle, some of which lived on the water seeping out of the granite mountaintops.

In the water itself, the researchers discovered a new species of a new type of head-and-tail-light tetra (Hemigrammus aff. ocellifer), which is closely related to a fish that is often collected for aquariums.

The researchers found that the abundance of freshwater in the mountainous rainforests in Suriname play an essential role in the ecosystems.

“Suriname is one of the last places where an opportunity still exists to conserve massive tracts of untouched forest and pristine rivers where biodiversity is thriving,” said Dr Trond Larsen, a tropical ecologist and one of the expedition team.

The expedition was led by Conservation International to study the role of water in Suriname, which sits in an area known as the Guiana Shield, an area of wilderness in South America that contains more than a quarter of the world’s rainforest.

Low human populations in the area mean that much of the rainforest is unaffected by human activity.

Dr Larsen, who is also the director the Rapid Assessment Program at Conservation International, added: “Ensuring the preservation of these ecosystems is not only vital for the Surinamese people, but may help the world to meet its growing demand for food and water as well as reducing the impacts of climate change.”

Source

 

 

 

Tagged with: