Papua New Guinea frogs are ok, but ours are better


12-March-2012

Micro frogs are not uncommon across the globe, several species being present in the Americas, Africa, and South-east Asia, and many of your readers will I am sure be aware that one such micro frog is found here in the Seychelles; Gardiner’s Frog (Sechellophryne gardineri). 

Like its distant relative in Papua New Guinea, Gardiner’s frog lives entirely on land, reproducing without the need to enter water.  This distinctive, tiny amphibian often measures less than 10 mm (0.39 inches) making it quite difficult to find but it can often be heard making its distinctive ‘peep’ call from leaf litter.

However, of even greater significance is that Gardiner’s frog and its relatives the Palm Frog (Sechellophryne pipilodryas), Seychelles Frog (Sooglossus sechellensis), and Thomasset’s Tocking Rock Frog (Sooglossus thomasseti) are members of a unique group collectively known as Sooglossid frogs, that are found nowhere else on the planet, and are in fact the only endemic amphibian family (a grouping/group to which the individual species and genera belong) to occur anywhere in the world on an island group.  Papua New Guinea may have the world’s smallest frog, but the Seychelles has another, and it belongs to a whole family found no-where else but here.

Jim Labisko

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