Very colorful, poisonous and smaller than a 2 euro cent coin. These are the seven new species of Brachycephalus frogs recently discovered in the southern region of the Brazilian rainforest, near the mountainous area of Paranà and Santa Caterina. The team of Brazilian scientists who announced the news about Peer J took five years of research to discover the existence of these colorful frogs, which live exclusively in the humid environments of the subtropical forest.
Colored and poisonous. All a little less than a centimeter long, the frogs are distinguished by the color of the back - ranging from bright orange to olive green - and the degree of roughness of the different parts of the body. The vivid shades testify to the strong presence of neurotoxins contained in the skin. These poisonous substances serve to protect them from predators.
An extreme habitat. The seven new Brachycephalus frogs are endemic species that live exclusively in the humid environments of the nebula forest, which is characterized by the constant presence of clouds at low altitude and by the proximity of mountains. It is a specific habitat and rather difficult to explore, and it is for this reason that the researchers led by Professor Marcio Pie have had to wait several years before reaching any result.
In any case, scientists are already pursuing research with new expeditions, and have already run into four other species of frogs, not yet classified. "Given that many places with this type of climate remain to be visited, we are sure we could find new species of Brachycephalus, " Pie said.
Endangered species. The researchers, belonging to the Universidade Federal do Paranà, claim that the advance of deforestation to make room for new livestock and intensive farming is endangering the natural habitat of the frogs. So, scientists immediately hope that measures will be developed to protect the seven new Brachycephalus species.