As if glass frogs were not a strange enough species in and of themselves, but one that could be the identical twin of the famous Muppet has been discovered in Costa Rica.
The new species of Glass Frog makes the count of known species of Glass Frogs in Costa Rica at 14. This new species of glass frog was discovered by a scientist and landowner named Brian Kubicki from Minnesota who continues doing conservation work at his Guayácan Rainforest Reserve. He is also the founder of the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center, and began his longtime love affair with glass frogs in 1997 while still in college.
The Kermit the Frog look alike has been dubbed Hyalinobatrachium dianae in honor of Mr. Kubicki´s mother, Janet Diane Kubicki. The first part of the first name hyalino comes from the Latin word hyalinus, which means glassy or green, and the second part, batrachium, is in reference to the plant ranunculus. This last part is because the plant ranunculus comes from the Latin which means “little frog.”
This is the sixth species that Kubicki and his foundation have found from searching through the varied rainforests of Costa Rica. Glass frogs are only found in rainforests of Central and South America in a short range, and their preference is for dense lowland rainforests near water sources such as rivers, streams or ponds. This particular species of glass frog was identified as being of its own taxonomic grouping based on its coloring and call that differed significantly from other species.
Glass frogs are tiny, delicate frogs that are primarily arboreal except for in their tadpole stage. They get their common name from their transparent underbellies where organs such as the liver and gastrointestinal tract can be viewed through the skin. Kubicki believes that the discovery of this new species of glass frog is, “a good indicator of the health of the eco system,” because the forest must being doing pretty well if something so delicate is thriving.
There are also large wild hogs in the forests of Costa Rica known as Collared Peccaries, but they aren’t pink like Miss Piggy. Hyalinobatrachium dianae would probably be better off not running into any Peccaries, or pink pigs for that matter, anyway. Unlike Kermit, the little glass frogs probably couldn’t withstand the fury of a real life Miss Piggy.