BBC: Scientists discover frog that can't croak

International media reports on new species identified by UC biologist

The BBC reported on the astonishing discovery by researchers at the University of Cincinnati of a new species of voiceless frog in Tanzania's Ukaguru Mountains.

The Ukaguru spiny-throated reed frog does not croak, sing or ribbit. Found in Tanzania’s Ukaguru Mountains for which it is named, Hyperolius ukaguruensis is among the few frogs around the world that do not vocalize to other frogs.

The new species belongs to a group of “spiny throated” reed frogs, which true to their name have tiny spines on the male’s throat. Since they can’t rely on sound to recognize members of their species, they might use spines instead.

Researchers described the new species in the journal PLOS ONE.

“The male frogs don't call like most other frogs do. We think they may use the spine as something like Braille for species recognition,” said study lead author Lucinda Lawson, a conservation biologist and assistant professor of research in UC's College of Arts and Sciences.

“Without a call, they need some other way to recognize each other.”

Lawson published the study with co-authors Christoph Liedtke, Simon Loader and John Lyakurwa.

Read the BBC story.

Featured image at top: Researchers found a new species of spiny-throated reed frog. Photo/Christoph Liedtke

More UC Biology in the news

Assistant professor Lucinda P. Lawson spoke about their research at Rieveschl Hall. UC/Joseph Fuqua II

UC assistant professor Lucinda Lawson worked with an international team on an amphibian survey in Tanzania. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC

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