7 teensy new frog species discovered in Brazil’s cloud forests

Seven new microendemic species of Brachycephalus (Anura: Brachycephalidae) from southern Brazil

New frog species

CC BY 2.0 Luiz Fernando Ribeiro

Less than half an inch in length, the brightly colored frogs are highly endemic and vulnerable to extinction.

Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest is home to a very unusual group of frogs that have been captivating naturalists for over a century. Known as Brachycephalus, these frogs are some of the smallest terrestrial vertebrates on the planet – adults generally don’t exceed 1 centimeter (0.4 inch). Their diminutive size leads to a number of changes in their body structure, such as reduction in the number of toes and fingers, making them all the more unique. Adding to their intrigue, many species of Brachycephalus are beautifully hued, likely as a warning to predators that their skin harbors a highly potent neurotoxin known as tetrodotoxin. Cute, tiny, bright frogs with funny feet that pack a punch, what’s not to adore? Read more.