A new species of frog that was discovered six years ago in Staten Island has now been found in habitats as wide ranging as Connecticut and coastal North Carolina, reports ScienceNews.
According to a report released October 29th in PLOS ONE, the Atlantic Coast leopard frog has now been found in coastal freshwater wetlands and low river floodplains throughout the Mid-Atlantic coast, and on the respective lower and upper extremities of the New England and Southern Atlantic coasts.
Officially named Rana kauffeldi, the Atlantic Coast leopard Frog was first discovered by ecologists when they realized that the frog’s call was noticeably distinct from that of a similar looking frog, the southern leopard frog (Rana sphenocephala). The Atlantic Coast leopard frog emits croaks as a single burst of sound, while the southern leopard frog croaks using multiple pulses.
Researchers have now collected tissue samples from multiple Atlantic Coast leopard frogs along the Atlantic coast in an effort to better understand and define the range of the frog’s habitats. While it was discovered six years ago, the Atlantic Coast record frog was proposed as a possibly distinct species in 2012.
As Jeremy Feinberg, coauthor of the report in PLOS ONE and an ecologist at Rutgers University, told ScienceNews, “We can still find new species not only in the rainforest or in remote areas of the world, but in places that are very familiar. Your backyard might just have a surprise.”