Researchers have discovered a previously unknown species of frog in Cambodia. The amphibian is unusual in that is has green blood and turquoise-colored bones, a result of its transparent skin and a pigment that may make the species unpalatable to predators, according to Fauna & Flora International (FFI).
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
FFI says the Samkos bush frog stands out among the new discoveries for its “strange” bone and blood color, thought to be the result of biliverdin, a metabolic waste product usually processed in the liver.
“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