|Scarthyla vigilans from southwestern Trinidad. JCM|
The tiny, grass-dwelling frog, Scarthyla vigilans (Hylidae) has been officially added to the herpetofauna of Trinidad. The frog avoided detection of previous researchers investigating the fauna of the continetal island until 2006 when J. Roger Downie and Joanna M. Smith collected striped tadpoles from an irrigation ditch in a coconut plantationin the southwest peninsula of the island. The tadpoles positioned themselves vertically in the water adjacent to submerged grass stems.The tadpoles did not match any of the known species from Trinidad.The tads weighed only 0.26 g and measured about 29 mm. Two adults were collected in 2007, and more were added in 2010. The frogs were discovered in Venezuela's Orinoco Delata in 2008, but were previously known from northeast Colombia and northwest Venezuela. The small size (14-19 mm) of adults, their very insect-like call, and their superficial similarity to the very common and widespread Scinax rubra has contributed to them going undiscovered. The full paper is available on-line.
Smith, J.M.; J.R. Downie; R.F. Dye; V. Ogilvy; D.G. Thornham; M.G. Rutherford; S.P. Charles; J.C. Murphy.2011. Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae, Scarthyla vigilans (Solano, 1971): Range extension and new country record for Trinidad, West Indies, with notes on tadpoles, habitat, behavior and biogeographical significance. Check List 7(5):574-577.