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‘Andaman bush toad’ small enough for its own genus

Frog

Washington: A new species of has been found on herb bush with 24mm average length, measured from its snout tip to its cloaca.

After identifying its unique morphological and skeletal characters and conducting a molecular phylogenetic analysis, not only did the researchers introduced a new species, but also added a new genus.

The proposed common name of this species is ‘Andaman bush toad’.

With its significantly smaller size when compared to its relatives, the new toad species seems to have had its name predetermined by nature.

After naming its genus after the initiator of herpetological studies in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the first Curator of the Asiatic Society of Bengal- Edward Blyth, the species name was derived from the local epithet ‘beryet’, referring to ‘small frog’ in Andamanese. As a result, the toad was named Blythophryne beryet.

The described toad species occupies mostly evergreen forests across five of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal, India. Although highly abundant, this is probably because of its narrow range of distribution.

Being active at night, the little amphibian can be regularly seen all year round, rested on the leaf surface of herb bushes.

During daytime, it tends to hide under leaf litter on the forest floor. It is also characterised by reddish brown colouration, complete with two feeble dark brown inverted ‘V’-shaped markings.

The study has been published in ZooKeys. (ANI)

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