The world’s tiniest frogs, the size of a Tic Tac, discovered in New Guinea


Scientists have discovered the world's tiniest frogs in Papua New Guinea.

A holotype of Paedophryne dekot (BPBM 37753), B paratype of Paedophryne dekot (BPBM 37754), C paratype of Paedophryne verrucosa (BPBM 37743), and D paratype of Paedophryne verrucosa (BPBM 37745). Image and caption courtesy of ZooKeys.

Scientists have discovered the world’s tiniest frogs in Papua New Guinea.

Paedophryne dekot and Paedophryne verrucosa attain a length of only 8 to 9 mm (0.31 inches), slightly longer than a tic-tac mint. The frogs are about 2 mm smaller than the previous record, which belonged to other members of the same genus.

“Miniaturization occurs in many frog genera around the world, but New Guinea seems particularly well represented, with species in seven genera exhibiting the phenomenon,” said study author Fred Kraus of Bishop Museum in Honolulu. “Although most frog genera have only a few diminutive representatives mixed among larger relatives, Paedophryne is unique in that all species are minute.”

Like other tiny frogs, Paedophryne live in leaf litter and moss.

The new frogs are described in the journal ZooKeys.

CITATION: Kraus, F. (2010) New genus of diminutive microhylid frogs from Papua New Guinea. ZooKeys 48 (2010) : 39-59. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.48.446

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