Show Details

NYC Frog

April 5, 2012

Researchers found a previously unknown frog species in New York City.



A new frog in New York.  I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

A previously unknown frog species has been found in the exotic forests of New York City.  It’s a type of leopard frog, with an unusual mating call that captured the attention of Rutgers grad student Jeremy Feinberg, when he was in the woods on Staten Island.  That led to genetic tests at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the lab of evolutionary biologist Brad Shaffer.  Shaffer says the frog’s known range is the New York metro area.

BRAD SHAFFER (University of California, Los Angeles):

As far as we know, it’s the immediate area right around New York City.  The largest population that we know of at this point is on Staten Island, and it’s right in the surrounding areas in New York and New Jersey.

The true range may actually be larger.  Shaffer says the frog hid in plain sight because it looks like other leopard frogs.  But he says it’s clearly genetically distinct, and in at least one area, lives among another species of leopard frog without interbreeding. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.

The new, unnamed leopard frog species was discovered in the wilds of Staten Island. (photo courtesy of Rutgers University)