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EXCLUSIVE: Rare Cruziohyla calcarifer tadpole is new to science

 

New collaborative research led by Manchester Museum has resulted in the first scientific description of an extremely rare tadpole.

Less than 50 adult specimens of the Cruziohyla calcarifer, also known as the Splendid Tree Frog or Leaf Frog, have ever been found and four of its tadpoles are currently being housed at Manchester Museum, which is part of The University of Manchester.

The Cruziohyla calcarifer originates from Ecuador. The tadpole is characterised in having a distinctive mouth shape and unusual markings.

Almost nothing has been known of the frogs’ breeding biology to date and a visual description of it in tadpole form has never existed.

Following captive breeding in Germany, an extensive piece of research led by Andrew Gray of Manchester Museum, which details of the tadpole’s unusual appearance, have now been published.

Now that the tadpoles have been scientifically described, the specimens that were preserved will go to the British Museum in London. They will then be put alongside the specimen that was collected 120 years ago to complete the set.

This break-through follows another key scientific description at Manchester Museum, where a new species to science, Sylvia’s Leaf Frog was also described. The Manchester Museum was the first institution to breed that species, where the vivarium team recreate the exact conditions the frog enjoys in Costa Rica, Central America.

This year the Museum also successfully bred the harlequin toad in captivity for the first time outside its native Panama.

British Herpetological Society: https://www.thebhs.org/


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