Australian frog is rediscovered after 17 years

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A species of treefrog that was three years from being declared extinct was found in July in the tropical northeast of Australia. A local university Ph.D. candidate, Robert Puschendorf, along with volunteer researchers stumbled upon the armoured mistfrog (Litoria lorica) while surveying a related species near Mareeba, Queensland. The researchers thought they were catching a similar torrent treefrog (Litoria nannotis), until they examined a specimen more closely.

The Associated Press reported that PCR lab results showed that the mistfrogs were not unaffected by the devastating chytridiomycosis, a pandemic disease affecting almost all frog species. Remarkably, they may actually be immune to fatal effects of the fungal infection. Puschendorf plans to publish a paper on the new findings of this Lazarus species.


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