Pea-Sized Frog Discovered in Borneo

Researchers recently discovered a new species of frog in Borneo which only grows to the size of a pea.

Photos: Prof. Indraneil Das/ Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation

Discovery reports on August 25, 2011, that the adult male mini frogs, Microhyla nepenthicola, range in length from 0.417322 inches (10.6 millimeters) to 0.503937 ” (12.8 mm).
Drs. Indraneil Das and Alexander Haas of the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation at the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, and Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum of Hamburg, respectively, tracked the amphibians by their call.
The frogs normally start singing around dusk, making a series of harsh rasping notes that last for a few minutes, followed by brief intervals of silence. This “amphibian symphony” goes on from sundown until peaking in early evening.
It turns out that the tiny frogs had been found before, but were always assumed to be juveniles. Dr. Das said, “I saw some specimens in museum collections that are over 100 years old. Scientists presumably thought they were juveniles of other species, but it turns out they are adults of this newly-discovered micro species.”
The new species was named after the pitcher plant, Nepenthes ampullaria, which it depends on to live. The frogs deposit their eggs on the sides of the pitcher, and tadpoles grow in the liquid that accumulates inside the plant.

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