Check out this Muppet look-alike! It’s the first glass frog species discovered in
Costa Rica since 1973.
Photographs by Brian Kubicki, Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center; Vera Anderson, Contributor, Getty Images
Published May 21, 2015
Calling all Muppets fans: A new species of see-through frog looks just like Kermit. The lime-green amphibian has bulging white eyes with black pupils, much like those of the famous frog puppet. Dubbed Diane's bare-hearted glass frog, the inch-long (2.5-centimeter) amphibian is the first glass frog to be discovered in Costa Rica in over 40 years.
"Glass frogs" are a group of frogs with translucent bellies. Found in Central and South America, these amphibians live high up in tree canopies near streams and creeks. They come down from the treetops when it's time to mate.
The lack of stomach color is still a mystery to scientists. But they think the green coloration on the newly discovered frog's back might help the nocturnal creature stay hidden during the day, when it snoozes while clinging onto the undersides of leaves.
FROG VS. FUNGUS
The newfound frog lives in eastern Costa Rica's mountainous forests, which range in elevation from 1,300 to 2,500 feet (400 to 800 meters). It's the altitude at which a deadly fungus called chytrid is most widespread. Chytrid attacks the skin of amphibians, suffocating its victims.
Since the 1980s, several frog species have disappeared from Costa Rica and other parts of the world because of the fungus. Frogs are also threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation. Luckily scientists are working hard to stop the fungus from spreading. They’re also creating breeding programs to maintain the populations of certain frog species threatened by chytrid.
That’s good news for the Diane’s bare-hearted glass frog. What’s more, this amphibian is drawing many fans because of its Kermit-like looks. That’s got to make it a little easier to be green!
Photograph by Brian Kubicki, Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center
Text from "New Species of See-Through Frog Found, Looks Like Kermit" by Ralph Martins for National Geographic News
Adapted by Rose Davidson, NGS Staff