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Researchers Discover Hermaphroditic Frog In New Guinea

The frogs, Cophixalus rajampatensis and Cophixalus salawatiensis have slender bodies less than 23mm in length.

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Researchers with the South Australian Museum in Adelaide have discovered two new species of frogs, one which the scientists consider a hermaphrodite, that belong to the narrow-mouthed frog genus Cophixalus. The frogs, Cophixalus rajampatensis  and Cophixalus salawatiensis were discovered in New Guinea. They both have small and slender bodies and are less than 23mm in length, according to Steve Richards, who along with his team of researchers, discovered the frogs in the Raja Ampat Islands on the Indonesian side of New Guinea. 

Cophixalus salawatiensis is the researchers consider a hermaphrodite. When the scientists dissected one of the male specimens, they discovered a female reproductive system complete with well-developed eggs, but also a well-developed vocal sac and vocal slits. The frog’s call and its sound producing organs did not differentiate from the other male frogs that were examined, so the scientists concluded that it was a hermaphrodite.

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Both frogs were discovered in lowland forests that had already been logged, where they would call after heavy rains at night. These additions brings the total number of frogs of the genus Cophixalus hailing from New Guinea and islands in close proximity to 46 and the total number from Western New Guinea to 10.

The complete paper detailing these new species can be read on the Pensoft website