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New Frog Species Discovered. . . In New York City?

Leopard frog species with distinctive mating call detailed in new paper.

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A new species of leopard frog (as yet unnamed, genus Rana) has been discovered in New York City by a doctoral candidate in ecology and evolution at Rutgers University, according to a report in the New York Times. The frog, which resembles a southern leopard frog in every way except for the way it calls out for a mate (and in its DNA), was discovered in 2009 on Staten Island by doctoral candidate Jeremy A. Feinberg, who was listening for the mating call of the southern leopard frog.

The unnamed frog can be found in New York City as well as several counties surrounding the Big Apple. The find, according to the report is surprising in that the frog was first discovered in one of the most densely populated cities in the world, and because it highlights the power of genetic testing. Feinberg and his collaborating scientists suspect the frog's range includes commuting distance from Midtown Manhattan to Trenton NJ to Putnam County, NY, according to the report. The findings on Feinberg's frog "A new species of leopard frog (Anura: Ranidae) from the urban northeastern US" can be read online at Science Direct.