Scientists have recently discovered a new frog species in Costa Rica, which looks remarkably like every child’s favorite croaker. Kermit, or Hyalinobatrachium dianae as the scientists prefer to call him, is only about an inch long and now joins a dozen species of ‘glass frogs’ known to inhabit the country’s rainforests. Glass frogs are rare species which have translucent skin on their underbellies; so see-through in fact, that their internal organs are actually visible. Cost Rica is home to one-tenth of the world’s glass frog species.
This curious looking creature, with its bulging eyes, pointy mouth and skinny long legs, is undoubtedly one of the cutest new discoveries in the animal world. It really should come as no surprise that Kermit was discovered in Costa Rica, as the sheer diversity of wildlife makes this one of the most gratifying spots for researchers and scientists.
Which really begs the question…what else is out there?
How Kermit was discovered…
With this being the first new frog discovery in Costa Rica in over four decades, it’s being hailed as quite the feat. Three researchers are on the spotlight following Kermit’s discovery: Brian Kubicki, Stanley Salazaar and Robert Puschendorf. They’ve been studying amphibians for years and have now introduced Kermit to the world. H. dianae is said to differ in a few critical ways from his fellow glass-like-toads, including in genetics and, more poignantly, in its mating call. The Kermit-lookalike’s romantic whistle is so dramatically different from any used by other members of his species (it sounds more like an insect than a frog, according to Kubicki) that it managed to go undetected all these years. Moreover, incognito-Kermit was found in a dense forest near the Caribbean coastline, which is hard to access, has no roads and is one of the most impenetrable areas of the country.
Luckily, this means that chances of threat from humans will likely not be a problem for this adorable little guy and his buddies. In a country with such high regard for ecological welfare, his future looks bright as ever. Although six specimens from three different sites were taken by the researchers, they are confident that their numbers are plentiful.
Kubicki attested to CBS News to not being very surprised at the media’s comparing Hyalinobatrachium dianae to Kermit, even though it was something he had never thought initially. He is also said to be pleased at all the attention Kermit has received, as “in doing so it is highlighting the amazing amphibians that are native to Costa Rica and the need to continue exploring and studying the country’s amazing tropical forests.”
Scientists have not yet confirmed whether H. dianae plays the banjo, although they can confirm that the hunt for other Muppet-like creatures continues in full force.
Best frog watching spots in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is one of the most amphibian-rich countries on earth. In total, 175 different species have been discovered here, which is astonishing considering just how small the country really is. The frogs of Costa Rica are among the most colorful and their enchanting calls have a way to reverberate through entire forests. Coming eye to eye with Blue Jeans Frogs, Red Eyed Leaf Frogs or one of the many Glass Frogs is just one of the many incredible wildlife experiences you can have in Costa Rica. It is imperative that no physical contact is made with any of the frogs found in Costa Rica, as many are toxic and, even nowadays, not much is known about their poisons.
By and large, amphibians are shy creatures and prefer to roam the lands at night. If you want to come discover all the amazing amphibians of this wonderful country, book a wildlife viewing trip with a naturalist guide who can point them out for you. Frogs, most especially, are absolute masters of disguise and your chances of spotting different species, on your own, are very slim.
All of the country’s national parks are home to various types of frogs, yet the most popular frog-watching excursions are in the Tortuguero, Rincon de la Vieja, Carara and Corcovado National Parks. Specialised and very popular tours are also offered in the Arenal Oasis Frog Sanctuary.