A new species of frogs has been discovered along a roadside near Chingaza National Park in Colombia. The scientists named this Pristimantis dorado, a pale gold-coloured frog that belongs to the diverse group of Pristimantis.

The frog got its name from its colour and El Dorado, the legendary city of gold in Colombia. it measures seven-tenths of an inch long, making it among the smallest in the Pristimantis group, wherein one species can grow up to two inches long.

The Pristimantis group includes 465 frog species, 205 of which are from Colombia.  The new frog species does not have the vocal sacs or vocal slits that produce distinctive sounds like its relatives but it can still produce calls characterised by an irregular series of clicks.

The Pristimantis dorado, named for the legendary city of El Dorado, which Spanish conquistadors never found, represents the natural wealth of Colombia and the American tropics. Photo by Santiago Castroviejo-Fisher

The Pristimantis dorado, named for the legendary city of El Dorado, which Spanish conquistadors never found, represents the natural wealth of Colombia and the American tropics. Photo by Santiago Castroviejo-Fisher

The national park where the frog was discovered was about 10 miles or 16 kilometres from Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá. The researchers say that the discovery proves that many species around the world are still waiting to be found.

“With this new species, Colombia now hosts 800 species of amphibians, second only to Brazil in total diversity,” adds Andrew Crawford, a research associate at STRI (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute) and a faculty member at the Universidad de Los Andes. “Every year there are increasing numbers of new species of amphibians discovered and described. At this point, we still can’t even estimate what the final diversity of amphibians will be.”

In fact, another team of researchers have also found a new species of a narrow-mouthed frog in India. According to researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and India, this new frog species is named Microhyla laterite (M. laterite) after the laterite formations from where it was found.

The frog is bigger than the Pristimantis dorado, measuring 1.6 centimetres long, with black markings on its back, hands and feet.  The researchers say they will study the evolutionary ecology of M. laterite in their next research.