One of the Smallest Frogs in the World Discovered

A pea-sized frog species, Microhyla nepenthicola, was discovered this past week in Malaysian rainforests on the island of Borneo. This miniature frog, measuring between 10 to 12 millimeters (less than one-half inch), is the smallest frog species discovered so far in Asia, Africa, or Europe. The tiny frog is a type of frog called a microhylid, composed of mini-frogs under 15 millimeters. The discovery was made by Drs. Indraneil Das of the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation and Dr. Alexander Haas of Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum of Hamburg.

Photograph courtesy Indraneil Das, Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation

The tiny frogs were found near pitcher plants, which grow in damp, shady forests. The frogs deposit their eggs on the sides of the globular pitcher, and tadpoles grow in the liquid accumulated inside the plant.

What is the world’s smallest frog? Two 9.8-mm-long amphibians in the New World—the gold frog in Brazil (Brachycephalus didactylus) and the Monte Iberia dwarf frog(Eleutherodactylus iberia) in Cuba are believed to be the world’s smallest frog species. They are about the size of a house fly—very tiny frogs indeed.

For more information, see:Conservation International