All glass frogs feature some common characteristics: They inhabit regions of Central and South America, they’re mostly lime green in appearance and they all feature translucent abdominal skin that makes their internal organs visible. What they don’t all feature, however, are a pair of eyes that make them look an awful lot like Kermit the frog, the famous Muppet. That’s exactly the case with Hyalinobatrachium dianae, a new species discovered in Costa Rica by researchers from the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center (CRARC).
It’s the first new species of glass frog discovered since 1973. Part of the reason it went undiscovered for so long, researchers speculate, is that it was found in sites typically not studied by biologists. The frog itself also appears to have irregular activity patterns.
In their report, the authors note that the new species differs from existing species in nine distinct ways. They include a uniform green coloring along the back, a mating call that consists of one long “metallic” whistling sound, and the silvery-white iris coloration with fine dark spots that give the frog its Kermit-like appearance. A DNA analysis also revealed that dianae is also genetically distinct from other Hyalinobatrachium species, displaying a 12.4% variance from its closest relative.
“The advertisement call that the males of this species produce are very unique, no other known species of frog has a similar call, and this was indeed one of the traits that we used for the justification of it being a completely new species,” researcher Brian Kubicki told CBS News.
Likely due to its resemblance to the famous Muppet, Hyalinobatrachium dianae (named for Kubicki’s mother), the new glass frog already has its own Wikipedia page. It’s not the most robust page in the online encyclopedia, but for what it’s worth Kubicki is pleased with all the attention its getting.
“I think it is great that this species is getting so much attention around the world. Hopefully this will help increase the awareness of the incredible amphibians found in Costa Rica and the need to continue studying them and conserve their vital habitats,” he told CBS News.
Costa Rica is unique in that the discovery of the new glass frog species makes for 14 living within the small area, yet it shares no borders with any other known glass frog habitats.