New species of ‘chocolate’ frog — the kind you can’t eat — discovered


Litoria mira, AKA the “chocolate” frog. (Credit: Steve Richards)

(NEXSTAR) – A frog straight out of the “Harry Potter” universe has been discovered in the far reaches of Papua New Guinea.

It’s nicknamed the “chocolate” frog, but this is the kind of amphibian you don’t want to eat.

The new frog species, described by Queensland Museum scientists, is officially called Litoria mira. It’s nickname comes from its muddy brown coloring.

The lead author of the study that describes the frog, published recently in the Australian Journal of Zoology, said in a statement that after seeing the new species, the name “chocolate frog” simply stuck.

According to Oliver, the closest known relative to the “chocolate” frog is the Australian green tree frog. The species look altogether the same, but “one is usually green, while the new species usually has a lovely chocolate coloring.”

“What’s a little surprising about this discovery is that the well-known and common green tree frog of Australia has a long-overlooked relative living in the lowland rainforests of New Guinea,” Oliver explained in the statement. “Because of this we named the new frog Litoria mira because the word Mira means surprised or strange in Latin.”

The frog is thought to be found across Papua New Guinea in hard-to-reach lowland swamp forests. The species was typically observed perched on branches about 3 meters of the ground, the study says.

You might hear the “chocolate” frog before you see it. The amphibian makes a “deep, masking bark” that sounds like “crawk, crawk, crawk.”

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