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Current Affairs

Litoria mira

Date: 02 June 2021 Tags: Biodiversity

Issue

Scientists have discovered a new species of frog from New Guinea that resembles the chocolate frog from the Harry Potter film series.

 

Background

The species was firstly discovered in 2016 and the subsequent genetic analysis showed that it was a complete new species.

 

Details

  • The frog has been named Litoria mira and is majorly found in trees. Such tree-dwelling frogs are usually found in Australian forests.

  • The species was discovered in an unpleasant area with humid climate, high temperatures, malarial mosquitoes and deadly crocodiles.

  • The frog appears to be a close relative of the Australian tree frog, Litoria cerulean. Its skin colour however differs.

  • The new species is different from all other Litoria due to its unique webbing on hand, relatively short and robust limbs, moderate size and violet patch of skin near its eyes.

 

Relation between the two species

  • Even though both species live in different islands, they have a historical connection when both the lands used to be linked by land bridge and share common biotic features.

  • In present times, the island of New Guinea is separated from Queensland of Australia by the Torres Strait. Australia has the savannah and New Guinea has rain-forests.

  • The divergence of the species is estimated to have taken during the Pliocene, when the area started to separate and land bridge vanished.