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Bali Home to Newly Discovered Species of Miniature Frog


Bali News: Bali, Indonesia, katak, new frog species, LIPI, Zootaxa, Masafumi Matsui, Amir Hamidy, Wongaya Gede, Batukaru, M. orientalis, M. borneensis
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(7/1/2013)

Amir Hamidy, a researcher from the Indonesian Institute of the Sciences (LIPI) has issued a paper declaring the discovery of a new species of frog in Bali.

The discovery, announced on Sunday, June 16, 2013, and reported by Seputarbali.com, identified the new species of frog has having a miniscule size of only 16-17 mm or approximately the size of the human fingernail. 
 
Amir and his fellow researchers have given the name of Microhyla orientalis to the new species of reptile.
 
A mitochondrial DNA analysis of the “mini” frogs shows the M. orientalis is a close relative of the M. mantheyi, M borneensis and M. malang. All three of these genetic “kin-folk” are members of the sub-group from the species M. borneensis.
 
Frogs from the sub-group of M. borneensis share the characteristic of reproducing in areas of still water. The specific species of M. borneensis has the unique characteristic of breeding inside the Tropical Pitcher Plant.
 
The sub-group of M. borneensis is endemic to Thailand, Sumatra and Kalimantan. The species of M. Orientalis is the most eastward dwelling member of the group, and fittingly given the name of “orientalis” due to its known habitatation on the Island of Bali.
 
The June 14th edition of Zootaxa carries the analysis of Masafumi Matsui from Kyoto University who identified the M. orientalis as uniquely having a striped back, and black stripes on its sides extending from the eyes down half its body and a round snout.
 
So far this new species of frog has been found in the area of Wongaya Gede and Batukaru in Bali, living in rice fields at an elevation of between 435 – 815 meters above sea level.

The M. orientalis is most often encountered at Wongaya Gede in July, while is most prevalent in Batukaru in the early weeks of August.


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