World’s two smallest frog species discovered

Hello Paedophryne dekot and Paedophryne verrucosa!

world's smallest frogs
In light of the pending Holocene Mass Extinction, ever more sobering biodiversity decline predictions and the loss of individual iconic species, like just recently the Vietnamese rhino, perhaps it doesn’t hurt to take some time to greet a few of the most remarkable newly discovered bits of biodiversity, like the world’s biggest virus, the world’s rarest bumblebee and indeed the smallest frog – or frogs actually, as both ‘new’ species of the Paedophryne genus are smaller than the previously known smallest frog.

They were discovered in the forests of southeastern Papua New Guinea by Fred Kraus of Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii – the man who had also discovered the previous smallest frog, of the same genus, in 2010.

In his publication in ZooKeys he describes their size characteristics as follows: “The first species [P. dekot] is described on the basis of two specimens and exhibits female snout-vent length of 8.5–9.0 mm (no males known), whereas that of the second species [P. verrucosa], described on the basis of 12 specimens, is 8.8–9.3 mm, with males 8.1–8.9 mm.”

That makes them not only the world’s smallest frogs, but in fact the world’s smallest tetrapods, Kraus writes.

The frogs live in forest leave litter [as shown in picture above (A & B are dekot and C & D are verrucosa)] and inhabit the same mountain complex, uphill from each other, in close proximity.

© Rolf Schuttenhelm |

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