Photo: (Elachistocleis nigrogularis sp nov). Photograph by Renoir Auguste.
Every year, new species are being described for the first time, adding to the list of wildlife on Earth. In addition to new species being described (and discovered for the first time), some species are being re-described as new, distinct organisms. These new re-descriptions are based on a closer inspection of the organisms' DNA, morphology, and other biological characteristics. Over the past decade, new species have been re-described from Trinidad and Tobago. And now there is another.
Narrow mouth frogs (in the genus Elachistocleis) are found across South America, and Trinidad. One of these narrow mouth Elachistocleis frogs was recently described as a new species, distinct from others in the same genus. The scientific name is Elachistocleis nigrogularis, and it got its name (nigrogularis) referring to its black throat that both the males and females have, a distinguishing feature compared to its cousins. This frog (seen in the photograph above), is active mainly at the start of the rainy season where it can be heard calling, which sounds like a long whistle-like call that can be heard just before heavy rains. One may have heard them while passing by the Aripo Savannas, Arena Forest, or Bush Bush Wildlife Sanctuary in Trinidad.
These frogs feed on ants and termites and are important parts of the environment. They are the latest new species to be described from Trinidad and Tobago. They will not be the last!
To read the scientific paper, here is the DOI link: 10.1007/s13127-021-00487-y or you can contact the Herpetology Group leader of the Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists' Club (ttfnc.org).