December 18, 2008
The Samkos bush frog (Chiromantis samkosensis) was discovered along with three other undescribed species of frog — the Cardamom bush frog (Philautus cardamonus), Smith's frog (Rana faber), and the Aural horned frog (Megophrys auralensis) — during surveys of the Cardamom Mountains, a remote range in Cambodia. The research turned up more than 40 amphibian species not previously known to occur in Cambodia.
The green-blooded turquoise-boned Samkos bush frog (or Chiromantis samkosensis) is one of four new frog species discovered by Fauna & Flora International in Cambodia. Credit Jeremy Holden
"In this species, the biliverdin is passed back into the blood giving it a green colour; a phenomenon also seen in some lizards," explained FFI in a news release. "The green biliverdin is visible through the frog’s thin, translucent skin, making it even better camouflaged and possibly even causing it to taste unpalatable to predators."
FFI says the species is apparently very rare, living in a niche habitat of evergreen forest at an elevation of around 500 meters. Little is known about its ecology other than it appears to breed in temporary rain pools.
FFI made the announcement to coincide with the publication of Cambodia’s first field guide to amphibians. The 130 page field guide, authored by Jeremy Holden and Cambodian herpetologist Neang Thy, contains photographs of each of the country's 63 known amphibian species and "represents the culmination of eight years of field research by FFI in the country".